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Archive for April 7th, 2012

Baked Ziti

I love pasta!  You would think that I have a strong Italian influence in my family, but that is the furthest thing from reality.  No Italian blood here; just a great love for Italian food!  I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was pinned from a great blog, Creatively Domestic.  Here is the link to the original recipe.

There were only 2 little changes I made: I had to use penne pasta because my local grocery stores do not stock a pasta called “ziti” and I used a half pound of ground beef and a half pound of Italian sausage instead of just one pound of one of them.  This is a wonderful dish and will be added to my regular meal rotation.

16 oz. dried penne noodles
1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. Italian sausage

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
6 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
1 cup pasta water, reserved from draining ziti
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

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Note about the above photo:  I cooked the ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic powder the day before to save time.  That is what is in the small plastic container.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, sausage, onion and garlic powder until the meat is completely cooked and the onion is soft.

Slightly undercook ziti, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In the pot where you cooked the pasta, combine 5 cups of the sauce, reserved pasta water, and the meat mixture.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Add the cooked pasta back in to the pot and stir to combine.

Spoon 1/2 of ziti mixture into 13x9x2" baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with Mozzarella and 1/2 of Parmesan cheese. Top with remaining ziti mixture and remaining 1 cup spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until heated through.

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All you need now is a salad and some garlic bread.   Mmmm!! This is also great the next day for leftovers. Just re-heat and serve.

Please join me and other great food bloggers at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.

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