Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno Recipe

Rating 5.0
| 1
This hearty five cheese ziti al forno uses five kinds of cheese (count them!) and feeds a crowd. A simple tomato sauce (marinara) combines with a cheesy white sauce (alfredo) for a satisfying baked pasta dish in a bubbly pink sauce. In a hurry? You can substitute store-bought sauces, and dinner is ready in a snap.
Utensils Dinner
Globe Italian
Chef Susie is a cookbook author, chocolatier, pastry chef and culinary educator with more than a decade of experience teaching and running an artisan chocolate business, which has been featured on the Food Network. Prior to beginning her culinary career, Chef Susie worked as a TV executive at three of the Big Four networks. She is now the author of three books, the latest based on her award-winning culinary travel blog.


For the Ziti
1 lb
dried ziti or other tubular pasta such as rigatoni
6 cup(s)
salted water
For the Tomato Sauce (Marinara)
1 tblsp
olive oil
garlic cloves, minced
shallots, minced
medium onion, minced
1 pt
cherry or grape tomatoes
Roma tomatoes, diced or one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tblsp
red wine
1 tblsp
balsamic vinegar
1 tsp
kosher or sea salt
For the Cheese Sauce (Alfredo)
3 tblsp
3 tblsp
all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s)
chicken stock
1 1/2 cup(s)
1 cup(s)
dry white wine
1 cup(s)
shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup(s)
shredded fontina cheese
1 cup(s)
shredded fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup(s)
ricotta or 4% cottage cheese
1 cup(s)
breadcrumbs, preferably panko
basil leaves, chopped
1 cup(s)
shredded Romano cheese
1 tsp
kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp
2 cup(s)
chopped spinach and kale leaves, optional

Directions 12 steps | 105 Minutes

Step 1

In a stockpot over medium heat, add the salted water. As the water heats to a boil, prepare the tomato sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, shallots and onions. Cook until softened. 

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Step 2

Stir in the cherry and Roma tomatoes and turn the heat up to high.

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Step 3

Stir in the red wine, balsamic vinegar and salt. Cook until thoroughly warm. Season to taste and set the sauce aside. 

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Step 4

When the water comes to a boil, cook the ziti to al dente according to the package’s instructions. Drain the ziti and transfer to a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

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Step 5

Prepare the alfredo sauce. In a large saucepan, make a roux by combining the flour and butter over medium heat and stirring regularly until it forms a paste. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the starchy taste is gone. 

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Step 6

Add the chicken stock slowly, one large splash at a time, and stir constantly.

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Step 7

Slowly add the milk and then the wine. Stir until well combined.

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Step 8

Slowly incorporate the Parmesan, fontina and mozzarella cheese into the sauce. Stir the sauce until it is smooth, and season to taste.

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Step 9

Pour both the marinara and alfredo sauce over the ziti, mixing them only lightly.

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Step 10

In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, basil, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle the mixture over the ziti and sauces. 

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Step 11

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, until thoroughly hot and bubbling. 

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Step 12

Serve and enjoy!

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Nutrition Per Serving
View All
19.5 g
24.7 g
53.1 g


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Kimiko S.


21 Sep 2022

This was a winner this past weekend with our weekly family get-together. The kids all loved it - and so did the adults!

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