Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Baked Ziti

This past weekend my crew was craving pasta and I was looking for a recipe that was delicious and would make enough for a couple of meals and leftovers for lunches this week.  I had this Pioneer Woman recipe bookmarked and it was the perfect time to try it out.  I tweaked it a teeny bit, but nothing major.  You need to make this ASAP, trust me!

I gathered the ingredients (minus the can of tomatoes that I forgot to include in the pic - ooops!) and got to work.


Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 whole large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 pounds meat (I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb sausage)
- 1 large can whole tomatoes (28 oz - don't drain them!)
- 2 cans marinara sauce (the original recipe called for 14.5 oz jars, I used regular 24 oz size)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 16 oz pasta (I used ziti)
- 1 15 oz container whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 cups of shredded mozzarella
- 2 eggs
- fresh parsley

Step 1 - Chop the onion and mince the garlic...


... or use the cheater garlic like me :)


Step 2 - Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the onions and garlic.  Cook on medium until they're translucent and soft.





Step 3 - Add in the meat, cook and drain.


Step 4 - Add the two jars of sauce (I used a whole jar and a little more than half of the others), the whole tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper to the cooked meat.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.




Step 5 - Clean up your mess (maybe that's just me - hahaha), bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta about a minute short of being al dente.  It's going to bake for a bit, so if you cook it too much it will cook too much.  My pasta called for 10-12 mins and I did 9.


My boys were in and out of the kitchen ALL afternoon.  Stirring, smelling, sampling.  ;)


Step 6 - When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.


Step 7 - Take about 4 cups of the sauce out of the pot and let it cool (mine didn't cool completely and it was fine).


Step 8 - While the sauce is cooling, mix together the Ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Parmesan and some parsley.  Don't over mix it... just stir it a bit.



Step 9 - Mix the cooked pasta in with the cheese mixture.  Don't worry about mixing it a bunch.  Just kind of toss it.  Lumps are totally fine.



Step 10 - Mix the 4 cool cups of sauce in with the pasta/cheese.



Step 11 - Put half of the pasta into a lasagna (or other large baking) dish. 


Step 12 - Cover with half the sauce and some mozzarella.


Step 13 - Top with more pasta, sauce and cheese.




Step 14 - Pop it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly and melty.

While it's baking, this may happen.  He made a rocket ship ;) 


And it's done!!!  Throw some more fresh parsley on top and call it a day!


The house will smell AMAZING at this point!  AH-MAZING!


Yes ma'am.


If you're planning on feeding a big group this would make PLENTY!  We all ate it for 2 dinners in a row, I sent some home with my dad and we still have probably a third of it left.  All my kids gobbled it up and it went on our "keeper list" ;)



Enjoy, friends!!!

In case you want the recipe in an easy to screenshot format ;) 

Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 whole large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 pounds meat (I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb sausage)
- 1 large can whole tomatoes (28 oz - don't drain them!)
- 2 cans marinara sauce (the original recipe called for 14.5 oz jars, I used regular 24 oz size)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 16 oz pasta (I used ziti)
- 1 15 oz container whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 cups of shredded mozzarella
- 2 eggs
- fresh parsley


Directions
Step 1 - Chop the onion and mince the garlic.

Step 2 - Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the onions and garlic.  Cook on medium until they're translucent and soft.

Step 3 - Add in the meat, cook and drain.

Step 4 - Add the two jars of sauce (I used a whole jar and a little more than half of the others), the whole tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper to the cooked meat.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

Step 5 - Clean up your mess (maybe that's just me - hahaha), bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta about a minute short of being al dente.  It's going to bake for a bit, so if you cook it too much it will cook too much.  My pasta called for 10-12 mins and I did 9.

Step 6 - When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.

Step 7 - Take about 4 cups of the sauce out of the pot and let it cool (mine didn't cool completely and it was fine).

Step 8 - While the sauce is cooling, mix together the Ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Parmesan and some parsley.  Don't over mix it... just stir it a bit.

Step 9 - Mix the cooked pasta in with the cheese mixture.  Don't worry about mixing it a bunch.  Just kind of toss it.  Lumps are totally fine.

Step 10 - Mix the 4 cool cups of sauce in with the pasta/cheese.

Step 11 - Put half of the pasta into a lasagna (or other large baking) dish. 

Step 12 - Cover with half the sauce and some mozzarella.

Step 13 - Top with more pasta, sauce and cheese.

Step 14 - Pop it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly and melty.  Top with parsley and serve hot.

22 comments:

  1. I like chopping up yellow squash and zucchini to throw in my ziti - little extra veggie.

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  2. This looks yummy. Anything with cheese on top-I'm usually a fan of. :)

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  3. Yum! Baked ziti is one of my family's favorite meals! Looks great!

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  4. YUM!! Give me baked pasta anything and I'm a happy girl! Pinning for sure :)

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  5. That's a nice fall meal if ever I saw one. I am definitely trying it. Thank you!

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  6. I LOVE Pioneer Woman recipes and I love your recipe posts (and the pictures you include!). Will make this for sure! Oh, and I always use cheater garlic! :)

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  7. I LOVE Ziti, especially the leftovers. I have my friend's very yummy easy peasy recipe if you are interested. : )

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  8. This will def be in my buggy today. Yummmm

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  9. Yummo!!! I love baked ziti!!! I'll be fixing this soon!

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  10. I love your S&P container with the crystal knob. Where can I get my own?

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  11. Any dish with pasta is my favorite. Can't wait to try this! Have a great Tuesday !

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  12. I use the cheater garlic as well... it's the only way to go!

    This sounds amazing! I'll have to try it sometime. We have a recipe of my mom's that we usually use for ziti, but I'll have to try something different next time!

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  13. Looks yummy! I love pasta:) haha

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  14. Wow! This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. This looks so good and it sounds so easy to make. I'll have to add it to our menu for next week. :) Also, I love that it makes a lot!!

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  16. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks for sharing.

    We live internationally and so "seeing" the general size of the packaging/jars/cans you are using helps ... converted recipes don't seem to work so well for me ;-P and so USA recipes tend to flop.
    Your pictures help so very much !!!!

    PS: For others Downunder: our Ziti equivalent, Penne, worked well.

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  17. Looks Delicious. Love all the pictures. Does it freeze well?

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  18. I made this last night, and it was delicious!! My hubby loved it :) I halved the recipe, but it still was so much food... We have leftovers for days, ha! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

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  19. This and your pumpkin maple glaze cookies are on my store list for tonight's football dinner.

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