Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baked Ziti

Mmmmmmmmmm, cheesey goodness...

Hello there! Tonight's meal is Baked Ziti. I love how easy this dish is to make. My first time having baked ziti was at the Olive Garden. It was a good, but I wanted to try it at home with a little less sauce and a lot more cheese! This recipe is super simple to make, but takes a little time to prepare, mainly for the penne.

What you'll need:

3/4 Box of Mini Penne noodles
1 bottle of tomato sauce (Traditional Ragu with meat sauce works best for us)
1 1/2 bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 lb ground beef

Mixing Bowl
Large Pot (for cooking noodles)
Skillet (to cook beef) - I use an electric skillet for this set between 300 and 325
non-stick Casserole dish (mine was 9x9)

And the steps:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Bring water to boil in large pot on high heat.
3) Lower temp on stove to medium high, pour Mini Penne into pot, stirring occasionally. Let cook for 7 minutes or until pasta is just slightly tender.
4) While Penne cooks, cook and brown ground beef in skillet, "scrambling" beef so it is in little pieces.
5) Once ground beef is cooked, pour sauce over beef and set skillet to warm.
6) Drain pasta.
7) In mixing bowl, mix pasta, ground beef, and sauce. Add one bag of cheese in three parts, mixing each thoroughly.
8) Pour into casserole dish, with second bag of cheese sprinkle over the top of the dish to cover.
9) Cook in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
10) Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

There you have it! If you like different cheeses, try asiago and Parmesan mixed with the mozzarella for a slightly different favor.

Good luck and good cooking!


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