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Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce

January 27, 2010
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Here’s a two-part recipe that takes some time, but is well worth it. Skip the frozen lasagna and try this fresh, delicious, home-made cheesy pasta bake! This recipe makes a lot, so it’s a good one for company. And it’s a KP original :)

Ingredients for meat sauce:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes w/basil
2 (15 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
3 heaping teaspoons basil pesto, prepared
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch granulated sugar
Garlic salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions for meat sauce:

  • In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add diced onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and saute 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add ground beef and stirring frequently, cook until no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Push cooked meat to one side of pot and using a turkey baster, drain fat.
  • Return to heat and add in remaining ingredients (except cream).
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.
  • Simmer 1 hour to marry flavors, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add heavy cream and stir to combine.

Ingredients for baked ziti:
Meat sauce from above
1 (16 oz.) package ziti pasta, cooked al dente and drained
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions for baked ziti:

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with Pam cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Stir 1 cup meat sauce into cooked ziti noodles.
  • Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into baking dish.
  • Spoon half the ziti mixture into baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1 1/2 cup mozzarella plus 1/2 cup parmesan cheese on top ziti.
  • Top with 2 cups of meat sauce.
  • Add remaining ziti mixture on top.
  • Top with remaining sauce.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and take off tin foil. Discard tin foil.
  • Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Return to oven, uncovered, and bake additional 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  • Let set 5 minutes before serving.
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2 Responses to “ Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce ”

  1. Julie on November 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    My husband told me to quit cooking so good, or he was going to get fat after this dinner tonight. Thank goodness for this site, I have totally run out of things to cook for dinner here in Luxembourg. I love a good sausage just as the next person but we are getting burned out on Mettwurst & Grillwurst! Thanks for giving me some inspiration!

    • KP on November 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Joe misses Mettwurst!! But glad you guys are enjoying the site :) Thanks for the comment Julie!

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