Traditional Baked Ziti with Ragu Pasta Sauce and $50 Target eGift Card Giveaway #simmeredintradition #ragu

Some of my fondest memories growing up are in the kitchen. My grandmother is the type that can make something out of nothing. And believe me, we had some rough times where she had to do just that. I don’t remember a bad meal ever coming out of that kitchen. Even when the chips were down! That says a lot about someone’s cooking. If you can accomplish making a meal out of whatever you can find and it actually tastes good, I think you’re doing pretty good.

Nowadays, many families are just too busy to cook dinner. I mean, let’s face it, between working, school pick up, homework and after school activities, most of us barely have time to think! I am one of those Moms. As a matter of fact, throw my PTA duties into that equation as well. Sometimes, I come home and am so exhausted. I literally pop a pizza in the oven and plop down for the evening.

Other nights, I am on the ball and reminded that family time is important. Even if it’s just at the dinner table for 20-30 minutes in between the chaos. We always ate dinner as a family and Italian food was always my favorite. Assunta Cantisanto is the founder of Ragu Pasta Sauce. She emigrated in 1914 from Naples, Italy to New York City. She shared her pasta with everyone she knew and they loved it! Finally, in 1937, she launched her familyโ€™s recipe for pasta sauce and the rest is history! Ragu is a well-known product, available in most grocery stores. It’s really great hearing about the beginnings of traditions and recipes. Being 1/2 Italian myself, these are the stories of my ancestors. I love Italian food, it’s just a part of me; it’s in my blood! I crave garlic and pasta regularly. One of my favorite dishes growing up was Baked Ziti and today, I am sharing how you can make a Traditional Baked Ziti with Ragu Pasta Sauce, even on a hectic evening!

Check out this video if youโ€™re interested in learning more about the Ragu traditions and Assunta Cantisano!

Don’t forget to enter the $50 Target eGift Card Giveaway below!

Baked Ziti
  • 1 Jar Ragu pasta sauce, Old World Style (Meat Flavored)
  • 16 oz. box, penne pasta
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425ยฐ.
  2. Boil penne pasta as directed.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, egg and salt/pepper to taste.
  4. Add 1/2 jar of Ragu and mix until well combined.
  5. Add cooked penne and stir.
  6. Add half of your ziti to a casserole dish and top with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese
  7. Add the remainder of your penne and top again with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese
  8. Pour the remainder of your sauce on top and cover with shredded mozzarella cheese
  9. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  11. Sprinke with chopped basil (optional) and Enjoy!

Don’t forget to visit and learn more about the Ragu heritage story and Ragu Pasta Sauce Recipes!

What are some of your family traditions?

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  1. says

    I'm happy to know you are proud of your Italian heritage. I'm not Italian but I enjoy Ragu on my pasta. I've tried other sauces and it doesn't compare.

  2. says

    Some of my favorite family traditions include going to the beach July-4th with all my cousins, spend time cruising the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights, go to the cherry blossom festival annually, but most importantly passing down my once- teddy bear to my brother who passed it down to my niece who will pass it down to her brother and I hope this keeps on going. Oh, and since my family is Salvadoran they like to make Ceviche for all occasions for no reason. They also like using vicks vapor rub when your sick, no matter what.

  3. says

    Some of my parent traditions are to come together at holidays with a festive feast, enjoy the new years playing games and snacking all day. we would bang on pots at midnight to scare away ghosts and invite the New Year in. We always try to spend weekend together and still till this day my family try to do things the same even after growing older.

  4. says

    My favorite family tradition is at Christmas Eve when my whole family comes together. My grandparents had 9 children so their are a lot of us. It is nice to have the entire family together and such an important time of the year.

  5. says

    One of our family traditions is to get together for major holidays, that is Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  6. says

    One of my family's traditions is to have a family dinner every summer except in the summer when everyone is too busy!

  7. says

    We make the same breakfast every year for Christmas, one of my favorite traditions!


  8. says

    I love your Baked Ziti recipe and it looks so delicious! I will try it. We have a big family get together every Thanksgiving and Christmas and make it pot luck where everyone brings there favorite dish and we sit around and share good talk and food. I always bring my Shepard's Pie!

  9. says

    My favorite family tradition is purchasing a real Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorating it as a family while listening to Christmas music.

  10. says

    We were always given a new Christmas tree ornament from my grandma every year and My Mom has done this for her grandkids and I do it for mine. I still have all the ones my grandmother gave me.

  11. says

    On the 4th of July, our whole family gets together and we do Christmas! It takes a ton of pressure off on Christmas and frees all of the families within our big family up to do their own thing on the actual day. We set it up to where everyone draws one name the year before and we all end up with one present. We theme each year like 'something from a thrift store' or 'something hand made'. It works out really well, and like I said, takes the pressure off a lot! Thanks for the opportunity to win! If I win, I just may take that $50 and spend it on Christmas — 4th of July! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. says

    We don't have a lot of traditions now that my parents are both gone. But we do have a big family Christmas pot luck and gift exchange every year with my husband's family at Christmas time.

  13. says

    My family tries to always get together for birthdays and holidays. Food is always a good centerpiece for family get togethers.

  14. says

    Some of our family traditions is eating dinner together as a family, Family game night every week and going to granny's on the holidays!

  15. says

    We always have Christmas Eve with my family, and it always has Honey Baked Ham as part of the meal. My favorite tradition is the white elephant gift exchange.

  16. says

    We do the Christmas tree together the day after Thanksgiving and the first ornament to go up is always the one we bought right after we got married.

  17. says

    We've made a new tradition in recent years to all gather at our place on Christmas, I'm enjoying this new tradition!

  18. says

    We all invite friends, co-workers and neighbors who don't have family to share Thanksgiving dinner with to dine with us.

  19. says

    We all invite friends, co-workers and neighbors who don't have family to share Thanksgiving dinner with to dine with us.

  20. says

    That's what we used to do growing up!!! Living in South Florida really puts a damper on it though. When we finally bought our own home, we tried to do that, but the tree died a week before Christmas. So, we have to wait a week or two after Thanksgiving now ๐Ÿ™

  21. says

    Christmas is the only time of the year when my whole family gets together. Christmas Eve we have lobster and Christmas Day dinner we have turkey. We all then have family game night.

  22. says

    Your baked ziti looks wonderful. My family traditions include family dinners for all holidays. We also always go to the Opryland Hotel to look at Christmas lights sometime during the holiday season. Our family just does most everything together as a big family. Thankfully we all still live pretty close to each other.

  23. says

    We have a ceramic Christmas tree that sits on a table and is lit from the inside. There are little green pegs that go into the tree to make it sparkle when the light bulb inside is lit. My grandmother used to wait for me to put the pegs into the tree every year before lighting it for the first time. When she passed, the tree came to my house and my son now does the pegs every year. I can't wait to someday continue the tradition someday with my grandchildren.

  24. says

    One of our family traditions is to have my delicious home-cooked meal on Sunday night which is roast beef with brown gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

  25. says

    Our families traditions are to eat meals together, to get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, to watch television together too is a tradition we have. We also like to vacation together! I love traditions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. says

    One of my favorite family traditions is every year on Christmas Eve the whole entire family goes to my grandma's house for a nice Christmas dinner & a gift exchange.

    Every year we also take our children to the pumpkin patch & carve pumpkins for Halloween.

    Every Friday is our family movie night!

    (Tiffany Banks)

  27. says

    We have a myriad of family traditions, many of which involve food. If there ever is leftover pie, we eat it for breakfast the next day. For Halloween, we eat ham and cheese rolls along with minestrone soup. We eat cheese fondue for dinner Christmas Eve and have a special brioche Santa bread on Christmas morning. New Year's Eve, we make Cherries Jubilee.

  28. says

    We make time for family dinners together every night minus devices, and my kids know once they are grown and in lives of their own we will try and get together every Sunday for family dinners.

  29. says

    one of our family traditions is to spend a weekend in December decorating the house for Christmas. Tree, lights inside and out, door swags, wreaths, you name it.

  30. says

    Every Sunday my family and I always get together for dinner! Its a tradition I have come to really cherish over the years!

  31. says

    Our family traditions is getting together on Wednesday and Saturday nights to eat and watch movies together. We do this religiously!!

  32. says

    We try our very hardest to sit down all together for at least one meal a day! It's very important to us to all connect like that!

  33. says

    Every year around the holidays the women in the family get together for Candy/Cookie Day. We make several baked goods, then divide them onto trays. The trays get passed to loved ones and friends. Thanks.

  34. says

    a few of our traditions are a tree trimming party, making pineapple stuff for every holiday, and a family picnic at the start of summer

  35. says

    We just for married 4 years ago so forming traditions. One is to have date night and movie night. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. says

    One of my most favorite family traditions is Christmas Eve breakfast. The kids have a certain breakfast recipe of mine they love and they want it every year. I always enjoy our time together!

  37. says

    We eat birthday cake for breakfast the day after we celebrate our birthday. We done this since my daughter was little.

  38. says

    This is so fun! One of my family's traditions is we have a huge tacky sweater Christmas part on Christmas Eve, we then have our dinner and everything else Christmas Day. It's always so much fun!

  39. says

    Our family tradition is decorating the tree the day after thanksgiving while have the tv fireplace going. We also watch Home Alone that night, drinking hot chocolate and eating popcorn. It's one of the more simple traditions we have and I love it!

  40. says

    My favorite tradition is having Halloween Parties every year and doing the apple dipping! Our family loves bobbing for apples. Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. says

    Thank you all for participating in this awesome giveaway! I loved reading all of your Holiday traditions and look forward to adopting some of them with my family. Have a Happy Halloween!

  42. says

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