“So what, no fuckin’ ziti now?!”

“The Sopranos” is one of my all-time favorite shows, and that line from the pilot episode has always stuck with me (and cracked me up). It definitely had me giggling in the kitchen as I was preparing tonight’s dinner. And so starts Week 2 of Operation Meal Plan…

Tonight, I decided to try my hand at baked ziti, which was even more appealing because of the amount of leftovers it yields. It’s convenient since I’ll be going out to eat tomorrow, and wanted Roo to have something easy to heat up.


Baked Ziti
Recipe adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz.) package ziti pasta
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh minced parsley
salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti and cook for 1/2 required time (about 5 minutes); drain and rinse.

Brown ground beef, and add onions. When softened, add spaghetti sauce and simmer. Beat the egg, then mix with the ricotta and 1/3 of the amount of the cheeses. Add 1/3 cup fresh minced parsley, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt to the ricotta mixture. Drain half-cooked ziti, then combine with ricotta. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and fill, beginning with a layer of sauce, then a layer of ziti/ricotta, some cheese, and repeat, ending with cheese on top. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes; let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

This turned out really well, and was pretty easy to make. (Of course I cheated by using jarred spaghetti sauce.) I ended up needing more sauce actually, and just happened to have 1/2 jar sitting in the fridge. Next time, I’ll definitely plan to use 1 1/2 jars from the get-go. Actually, next time I think I’d like to try making the sauce from scratch (maybe this recipe) and see how that turns out. I heated up some garlic bread and tossed a quick spinach salad together, and dinner was SERVED! Now, we have enough food for the week! Wishful thinking??

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by leeetz on January 26, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I think I liked the leftovers better than fresh out of oven. What did you think?

    Reply

  2. Posted by gulez on January 27, 2010 at 1:34 am

    i agreeeeee, it was delish as lunch today (hopefully it will be even more delicious for tmw’s lunch…and the next day’s….). šŸ˜‰

    Reply

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