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Feb 8, 2013 11:01 AM

Fixing overbaked baked ziti - help!

Oops - I accidentally left my baked ziti in the oven for a bit too long and the top is overbaked and crunchy, but not in a good way. More like a "this pasta isn't cooked" way.

Is there anything I can do to salvage it?

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  1. I would be inclined to pour more sauce and maybe cheese on the overcooked parts and just heat it enough for the pasta to absorb some of the moisture.

    1. Using a misting bottle, spritz hot water all over the overbaked top. Into the inside of any tubes whose openings are accessible, too. Cover lay parchment, Saran wrap, or wax paper over the top, cover the whole thing tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for another 20 min or so on low heat, 200-225. Remove from oven but leave the foil in place for another half hour or more.

      8 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        really, bake saran wrap? that seems like a bad idea. I'd go with the parchment.

        1. re: magiesmom

          Ditto - do NOT bake Saran wrap (or any plastic wrap like that) in your oven. Bad idea.

          1. re: Bacardi1

            Actually it works great, once it's covered with alum foil. I learned that in the catering business, it cooks evenly and keeps the tray hot so much longer. The saran wrap isn't affected by the heat at all. And it keeps everything very moist, you would never have overbaked ziti if you cooked it this way in the first place!

            1. re: coll

              Ya kow... we used to do that. But I now worry about chemicals being released into the food so I don't do that anymore. I just foil it and don't let the foil it the food.

              I wonder if the commercial wrap we used to use is diff from saran wrap. I know they tell you not to do it, but maybe it is simply for liability reasons.

              If you do do it, make sure it is not touching anything fatty or sugary.

              Overbaked Ziti. Pour a but more sauce over the top and cover it however you usually do - but very tightly and put it in a low oven so the sauce will absorb. Yank off the top and pull a pasta off and test it. OK? then put some cheese on it, zap under a little the element without a cover and you are done.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                I first saw that in Jody Adams' cookbook, when I was making her wonderful scalloped winter vegetables. I used parchment instead.

                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  Sam F wrote a post about Saran Wrap once, and he explained why there is no way that polymers can shed atoms...I probably have that somewhat wrong, but good enough for me if Sam says so! It doesn't ususally touch anything anyway but I don't worry about it either.

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      That's OK, I'm just sayin'. Not trying to change anyone's mind!

        2. You know how you don't use your microwave to re-heat pasta cause it makes it soggy? Well, now is the hour for the once-much-loved MW unit to redeem itself.

          Simply cover the entire dish in something that is acceptable to your sensibilities-I avoid plastic wrap for this purpose but find that a large platter inverted does the trick for my round casserole dish. Zap for 1 minute and see if that has the process started.

          Then add a good dose of tomato sauce and heat that either back in the oven or in the MW...don't leave it either place too long.

          At my house, we would probably re-dress with a new topping of mozzarella or whatever cheese mixture works for you-a quick broiler blitz would do the trick, again you are not going for more cooking here: this is strictly salvage so keep it quick.

          Good luck!

          1. What I would do is... eat the crunchy heaven on top. Unless "not in a good way" means seriously charred then peel off the death, recover with fresh cheese and broil (watching very carefully this time!)