This Baked Ziti should become a staple in your kitchen rotation. It’s become a staple of mine, and I am not even a big follower of the “recipe rotation” schedule that many efficient cooks follow. I prefer to browse magazines and Pinterest for hours, pulling and pinning recipes that look good, until I have a notebook so full-to-bursting that I probably won’t be able to try every recipe in my lifetime.
That’s partly because I sometimes run into dishes like this. Simple. Tasty. Cheap. When I hear those three words together like that, a little corner of my kitchen lights up and I hear angels singing “Hallelujah!” Oh, wait. That’s my husband. He loves those three words together, too, and he loves this dish. In fact, he was the one who suggested I make it again.
Next time I’ll make two and stick one in the freezer. This is a perfect freezer meal – but please, don’t think less of it because of that!
makes 8×8″ baking dish
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 c. cooked ziti
1/2 c. ricotta
1 1/2 c. finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 c. pasta sauce
grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
In a skillet, brown hamburger with onions. Drain, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
While hamburger is browning, prepare ziti according to package instructions. Cook until al dente; drain and toss with browned hamburger-onion mixture.
In a bowl, combine ricotta, 1 c. shredded mozzarella, garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
Grease an 8×8″ baking dish. Layer 1/2 pasta-hamburger mixture on bottom, then 1/2 c. of cheese mixture, then 1 c. pasta sauce. Repeat with remaining ingredients in same order. Top with remaining 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, plus grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
Cover with foil (spray foil first with cooking spray so cheese doesn’t stick to it). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes longer.