Pasta & Math = Baked Ziti

Did you know that pasta can be used in math and math can be used in pasta?  True story.

Here is a delish recipe you can make that will give you the opportunity to:

  • practice chopping
  • hand crush tomatoes
  • use fresh herbs
  • play a math game
  • cook for yourself

Introducing: Baked Ziti!


Below is the recipe and a fun printable math game about logic that uses pasta. Print it out and play while you eat your homecooked food.


First things first.

1. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add some penne pasta or your favorite shape and cook for about 9 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop up an onion.  Please go slow and be careful.  Thank you.


Next, pour a can of whole peeled tomatoes into a large mixing bowl.  Using your bare hands, squeeze and smoosh each tomato until you have a bowl of hand crushed tomatoes.  You don’t want any chunks of tomato that are larger than the pasta.

When we made this in class, the boys loved doing this.  Not sure if it was because of the squirting noises or what, but there was lots of laughing go on.  Cooking is fun!


You can use scissors if using your hands gives you the weebie jeebies.  It shouldn’t because you need to touch your food.  It’s a good, healthy way to connect with what you eat.


Next, heat a little cooking oil in a pot on medium heat.  Add the chopped onions and cook a few minutes until they are softened and clear.




Remove the Italian sausage from the casing and add to the onions.  Cook until meat is browned, slowly stirring everything around.


Add some minced garlic


Then your beautiful hand crushed tomatoes.

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Add some salt and crushed red pepper and then stir it around a few times.


Next, add some ricotta cheese.


and some shredded Parmesan.  Mix well.


Add a few torn pieces of fresh basil to the pot.


Then add your cooked pasta and stir everything together.


Pour the ziti into a baking dish and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Download a Free “Use Your Noodle” Pasta Game Here

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Pasta Entree

Baked Ziti


  • 1 small onion
  • cooked penne pasta
  • 4-5 links Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1, 32-ounce canned peeled whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup, plus more for topping shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil, torn into pieces


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta in boiling water; set aside.
  • Chop the onion and set aside.
  • Hand crush the tomatoes
  • Remove sausage from casing.
  • Heat 1-2 Tablespoons cooking oil in a pot on medium high heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened and clear, about 3-4 minutes. Stir slowly while cooking.
  • Add sausage to onions and cook until meat is browned.
  • Add garlic, tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir together and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Mix everthing well and cook for another minutes.
  • Add torn basil and cooked pasta. Stir well and pour mixture into a baking dish. Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Servings: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:00 am and is filled under Easy, Intermediate.

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