Setting The Example

Setting the example of a balanced and healthy lifestyle

Baked Ziti

Posted by fsumeg1884 on June 13, 2013

My current living situation is slighty odd, very unique, yet I enjoy it greatly. Back in February I moved in with my boyfriend in the house he rents near Emory University. With that move also came his roommate Rob who along with Nathan will try just about anything I make for dinner. Since moving in I try to cook a meal for all of us to eat together as a “family” at least once a week. With busy schedules and weekend getaways those nights are harder to come by right now.

Last night was a lucky one where we were all home for dinner plus we had a house guest staying with us for a few days. Perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe. On my short but HOT HOT 3 mile run earlier in the day I came up with dinner plans of trying The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti. I and the boys ran some errands later in the afternoon then headed to Publix to gather up the supplies. Note to self, never go to the grocery store with 2 hungry 20-something year old boys=expensive bill.

Later that evening I started to organize my supplies and before I knew it the house was smelling fabulous. Here are the only 2 prep pictures I remembered to take =(

Baked ZitiBaked Ziti 3

My 9×13 dish ended up being to small and I couldn’t fit it all into one pan so next time I am going to use a bigger pan.

baked ziti 6

On the side I served Ree’s grilled zucchini but added squash to the mix for some variety.

baked ziti 5

I think they liked it =)

Baked Ziti-courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 pound Ground Beef
1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
Salt And Pepper, to taste
16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1-½ pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 whole Egg
Fresh Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

(Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!)

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