Friday, October 18, 2013

Baked Ziti

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There's really no rhyme or reason to the perfect Baked Ziti dish. There's pasta, there's sauce, and there's cheese. The amounts and proportions are really up to your discretion, so I suggest figuring out what you like (a cheesier ziti, a meatier ziti, a saucier ziti) and amping up that portion of the dish.
I'm in love with my lasagna recipe, so I used that as a guideline to this recipe. I love meaty and cheesy pasta dishes and that's exactly what this is. There is a good amount of sauce, so it doesn't dry out like some Baked Ziti dishes tend to do. It also gets creamy from the Ricotta and hefty amounts of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I decided to freeze this batch so we could eat it at a later time (which is why the pictures are pre-baked). All I'll need to do is let it thaw and then bake it for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. Italian flavored pork
  • 2 tsp. garlic
  • 4 cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
  • 15 oz. Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, grated, divided
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, add the ground beef and pork. Cook until done, adding garlic halfway through. Drain and add back to the skillet. Add sauce and cook until heated through. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the Ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, 1/2 lb. Mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.

Add the pasta to the Ricotta mixture and mix well. Add half of the meat sauce and stir to combine.

Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish to prevent sticking. Add half of the pasta. Top with half of the remaining sauce and half of the remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Pour the rest of the pasta on top. Cover with the rest of the meat sauce and the rest of the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

If freezing, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

If cooking immediately, cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Source: SK Original

1 comment:

  1. Do you reserve some of the meat sauce when adding it to the ground beef and pork to add later to the Ricotta and pasta mixture?


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