Boursin cheese is creamy, crumbly, and herby, and it’s fantastic on crackers, but it’s also a tremendous fast ingredient to amp up your recipes. We’ve used it in mushrooms and chicken, and it’s now the centerpiece of our simple take on baked ziti. Many white baked ziti recipes call for béchamel sauce instead of marinara, but a Boursin, ricotta, and heavy cream mixture is much simpler—and much more delicious. The Boursin, filled with garlic and herbs, instantly tastes the sauce and melts like butter. We add plenty of chopped fresh basil and parsley to the sauce for a more herby flavor.
In two steps, the sauce is combined with the pasta. First, half of the sauce is combined with the heated pasta to coat each noodle in creamy bliss, and the remaining sauce is spooned into the pasta saucepan and folded in. Keep some of the Boursin clumps intact for delightful pools of cheese sauce among the soft noodles. Next, top the ziti with shredded mozzarella, bake until bubbling, and then broil until the top is wonderfully melty and golden. Perfectly simple and cheesy!
- Spray cooking oil
- Kosher salt is kosher salt.
- 1 pound ziti
- 4 (5.2 oz.) herbed blocks Boursin is a type of cheese.
- 1 (15-oz.) ricotta container
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/2 cup finely chopped, packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup finely chopped, packed fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the upper third. Coat the bottom and sides of a 13″-by-9″ baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook pasta till al dente in a big pot of boiling salted water, 2 to 3 minutes less than package guidelines. Return the spaghetti to the bank after draining.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine Boursin, ricotta, cream, Parmesan, basil, parsley, red pepper, and 1 cup mozzarella; season with salt to taste.
Stir half of the ricotta mixture into the pasta in the pot until well-mixed. Dollop the leftover ricotta mixture into the pool using a spoon. Stir only once or twice to distribute the dollops evenly (do not entirely break them up). Place the spaghetti in the prepared dish. Finish with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese bubbles. Remove the foil and preheat the broiler. Broil for another 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
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