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Pinot Noir + Easy Baked Ziti

Pinot Noir packs a punch when it comes to flavor but is still considered to be on the lighter side of the red wine spectrum, allowing it to pair well with meatless pasta dishes without overwhelming them. The zesty tomato of this Baked Ziti recipe sings alongside the bright berry notes of the District 7 Pinot Noir and the creamy ricotta cheese is supported by its soft, Central Coast tannins.

Serves: 6

Total Time: 40 min


  • 16 oz dry ziti pasta
  • 32 oz marinara Sauce
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¾ tsp sea salt, plus a dash for pasta water
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 lb fresh spinach
  • 1 ½ cups smoked mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425 ºF. Cover the bottom of a 9in x 13in baking dish with ½ cup (4 oz) of marinara sauce.
  2. Mix the ricotta cheese, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon sea salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions or until al dente (8-10 min). Drain excess water from the pasta. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and return the pot to the stove.
  4. Over low heat, coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and add the spinach. Sauté until just wilted (1-2 min), adding large handfuls one at a time. Remove the pot from the heat and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Roughly chop and set aside.
  5. Return the pasta, remaining marinara and most of the chopped spinach to the pot. Add a dash of sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
  6. Add half of the pasta and spinach mix to the baking dish. Top with ricotta cheese and sprinkle with remaining chopped spinach. Add the remaining pasta on top and cover with grated Pecorino and smoked mozzarella cheese.
  7. Lightly drizzle top of dish with olive oil. Bake until cheese is bubbly and browned (16-22 min).
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.

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