Friday, October 21, 2011

Classic Baked Ziti

I'm always looking for the next great rendition of recipes. Especially ones that I can freeze half for another night! So when I saw a recipe for "Classic Baked Ziti" on the back of the Mueller ziti box, I thought I'd give it a try, as my on-the-fly Basic Baked Ziti is adequate, but not fantastic.

My husband's only requirement of Baked Ziti is for it to include hot sausage, so he is pretty easy to please. I thought this was more "saucey" so I was happy.

Classic Baked Ziti
recipe from Mueller's 
makes 6 to 8 servings

16 oz dried ziti noodles
1 lb ground beef or hot sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced or 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

Slightly undercook ziti, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, cover and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat, cook beef, onion and garlic; stirring frequently 6 to 8 minutes or until beef is browned. Drain fat.
Stir in 5 cups spaghetti sauce and reserved pasta water. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Mix the meat/sauce mixture with ziti. Spoon 1/2 of ziti mixture into 13x9x2" baking dish. 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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