With about 15 minutes of hands-on time this easy baked ziti is perfect for busy nights. A layer of sour cream, pesto, and cheese is sandwiched in the middle of the ziti, making it extra good. If you do not have sour cream, substitute with cream cheese, cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese.
1 pound dry pasta like ziti, penne, or rigatoni
3 cups marinara sauce, see our homemade marinara sauce recipe or substitute one 26-ounce jar store-bought sauce
1/4 cup basil pesto, see our homemade basil pesto recipe
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup canned or jarred and drained artichoke hearts, chopped
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta then follow package directions, but cook 1 to 2 minutes less than the package calls for. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water then drain.
While the pasta cooks, warm the marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.
In a small bowl, stir basil pesto and the sour cream together until well blended.
Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl with the spinach, artichokes, warmed marinara, and the reserved pasta water. Toss until the spinach has wilted and everything is well combined.
Spoon half of the pasta into the baking dish. Spread the sour cream and pesto mixture over the pasta and scatter with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining pasta, lightly press everything down into the baking dish, and then scatter remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
Place the baking dish onto an aluminum-lined baking dish (just in case any sauce drips over the sides of the baking dish). Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.