Friday, April 23, 2010

Baked Ziti

This is an easy recipe, transports easily, fills you up, kids seem to enjoy it and so far between company, bringing it to people’s homes and our own dinner table it is warmly received and seconds are a given. Okay that might have been a run-on sentence but you get the idea. It is also super easy to freeze and then bake later since everything is pretty much cooked before you put it in the oven. Add bread, a veggie, and a salad and you are good to go.

Ingredients

Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti from Real Simple serves 6-8

Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes

  • 1 pound ziti (looks like skinny tubes)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c chopped fresh oregano (optional or just use less dried)
  • 1 26 oz jar pasta sauce
  • ½ cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan
  • 1- 15oz container ricotta
  • 1- 10oz box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove liquid
  • 1 c grated mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Cook ziti according to the directions on package

  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees

  3. In a large pot ( or I have a large wok that works too), over med-low heat, heat the oil.

  4. Add the onions, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the onions are softened 5-7 min

  5. Add the beef, increase heat to med-hi and cook until no trace of pink remains (5-8m)

  6. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 2 minutes

  7. Add the pasta sauce and heat for 3 minutes

  8. Remove from heat, add cooked pasta and toss to coat


  9. Add parmesan, ricotta, and spinach. Toss again.

  10. Spread the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (I usually can get a 8 x 8 out of it too and I freeze one for another meal).

  11. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until it melts---about 15 minutes.





This is what I mean when I say I get an 8 x8 out of it too. Granted, I could really fill up the 9 x13 until it is overflowing, but I tend to think this is a better option and then I get another meal out of it too. Always a good option!



As a side I will often slice up zucchini and steam it for about 5 minutes in a covered dish with about 2 TB of water. Then season with S/P and you can add a little butter if desired.




- Heather

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