Ziti is available in either smooth or ridged varieties, and is most often served al dente with sauces such as marinara or arrabiata. It’s quite sturdy, and holds up well in baked dishes and cheesy casseroles. Try tossing cooked ziti with sautéed eggplant and Fontina cheese before spooning the mixture into a baking dish and broiling for several minutes. The result is a browned and bubbling gratin—perfect for anytime of year. Ziti is also great for macaroni and cheese—the creamy sauce, which is made with Monterey Jack, white cheddar and Parmesan cheese, fills the tube-shaped pasta. Toss in chopped broccoli for a healthy meal that you and your kids will feel good about. Find these recipes and more in Food & Wine’s guide to ziti.

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio

A splash of red wine vinegar balances the richness of this cheesy pasta and magnifies the pink color of the onions and radicchio. Omit the prosciutto to make this a vegetarian main dish.
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Crab Macaroni Gratin

My mid-December birthday marks the start of Dungeness crab season in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps I’m biased, but in my opinion, Dungeness is the tastiest crab there is, and worth celebrating in and of itself. Several years ago, I started inviting friends over under the guise of a birthday party, but really, it’s a celebration of the season, the past year, and, yes, the fresh catch of the best crab on the planet. My guest list includes too many friends to fit around my dining table, so we’re packed like sardines, snug in the candlelit room with magnums of Champagne and piles of steaming whole crabs to be cracked and dipped in melted butter. It’s messy and a bit chaotic, but fancy at the same time. I’d have it no other way. I like to choose a theme for the annual menu, usually inspired by a travel experience I had that year. Last year I visited one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, not once but twice, so it seemed fitting to laissez les bons temps rouler come December. The crab was cooked with Creole seasonings in the boil, classic and delicious, but the surprise hit was this macaroni au gratin served with it. To make it, I channeled iconic restaurants like Galatoire’s, Clancy’s, and Brigtsen’s—some of my favorites to visit when I’m in the Big Easy. A glorious amount of crabmeat baked with shell-shaped pasta in a three-cheese cream sauce —tangy white Cheddar, nutty Gruyère, and sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano—is no-joke delicious, and trés riche. That’s where the Champagne comes in. The tingly bubbles give your palate an ultrasonic scrub between each creamy, cheesy, blissful bite. Blanc de blancs, or Chardonnay-based Champagnes, are particularly good here. They can be saline like shellfish, complex like great cheeses, and bring enough acidity to play counterpoint to both. This recipe is not cheap, but it is easy. Once you shred the cheese, the rest is simple assembly. I buy the crabmeat picked, because, as I’m told by my fishmonger, it averages out to be about the same price as cooking whole crabs and picking the meat yourself, and it saves precious time. If you don’t have access to Dungeness, try this with your local variety, or whatever type of crab you can get your hands on.
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Harissa-Lamb Skillet Lasagna

Chicken broth dials up the richness of this stovetop lasagna, while harissa and ground lamb add a modern, Middle Eastern twist.
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Baked Rigatoni with Milk-Braised Pork, Ricotta and Lemon

At Pasquale Jones in Manhattan, chefs Ryan Hardy and Tim Caspare team up to make dishes like this sumptuous baked pasta. Key to it is the tender milk-braised pork and its cooking liquid, which is pureed to form the sauce for the rigatoni. They pair this rich pasta with 2013 Circa Saint-Joseph from J.L. Chave Selctions. Slideshow: More Pasta Recipes
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Baked Ziti Recipes and Beyond

Try this classic Italian noodle in a variety of ways—from the familiar baked ziti recipes to the more inventive casserole dishes. We promise these recipes will be flavorful and filling!
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31 Comforting Baked Pasta Dishes

Baked pasta is the ultimate comfort food, a warm and filling dish we never get tired of. In this roundup, we share some of our go-to recipes, including creamy baked pasta with Gruyère and prosciutto, pickled pepper macaroni and cheese, and a hearty lasagna.
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More Ziti

How to Make the Ultimate Vegetarian Lasagna

Chef Gerard Craft’s lasagna is a bit of a project, but the result is over-the-top delicious.
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18 Comforting Lasagna Recipes We Love

There’s nothing quite like homemade lasagna, whether you’re a tomato sauce and Italian sausage evangelist (with extra shredded mozzarella and fresh basil on top, please) or prefer a veggie version with creamy white béchamel—you know, the kind that bubbles over onto the baking dish and creates a delicious crust. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and we’re constantly working on new recipes to celebrate it. You can spin lasagna with harissa and lamb, or swap ricotta and sausage for goat cheese and chorizo—read on for some of our favorites.
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