Anyone else have a teen who is always starving? I swear, since the Big One turned 12 last year, he’s eating us out of house and home. We are now going through several loaves of bread and several gallons of milk each week. And it’s like he grows before our very eyes. (He’s now several inches taller than me.) This feeding frenzy isn’t just due to his age, but the level of physical activity that he’s engaging in with his sports and athletics. So… I’m always on the lookout for family-friendly recipes that are delicious for all of us, and will make enough to feed my starving kid. This Baked Ziti Recipe with both Sausage and Ground Beef is a crowd pleaser for my family, and I originally found the recipe on AllRecipes, but I have switched it up a bit to suit my family’s tastes.
Now, there are two things that I don’t entirely understand. First, how is Baked Ziti different from Lasagna (other than the choice of pasta, of course)? My recipes for the two are different, but the general principles are much the same. Pasta layer, cheese layer, meat layer, repeat. My second question is, how exactly are rigatoni and ziti different? My best read on this is that the difference is the ridges in rigatoni. Anyone know the specific difference? Regardless, Baked Ziti is so yummy, and I highly recommend it!
- 1 Pound Box of Ziti or Rigatoni Pasta
- 2 Tablespoons (or so) of Olive Oil
- 1 Small Sweet Onion
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic (or 2-3 fresh cloves of garlic)
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh Oregano
- 1/2 Pound Lean Ground Beef
- 1/2 Pound Italian Sausage, uncased.
- 1 Jar of Marinara (I used Bertolli Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 6-8 oz of Sliced Provolone Cheese (This really depends on your cheesy preference and size of your casserole dish.)
- 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 1/4 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
- 1/4 Freshly Grated Parmesan (don’t use that canned stuff– the real stuff is so much better!!)
Preheat oven to 350. Cook your pasta. I tend to go more on the al dente side, than the soft side since everything is going into the oven. Chop your onion semi-finely. Start by pouring the olive oil in a larger and deeper skillet. (NB: I eyeball the olive oil that’s why my measurement was an approximation, but feel free to be more exact). Add the garlic to the oil. Then add the chopped onion (go ahead before the oil is hot, you want to slowly sauté it), and once the onion is translucent, add in the oregano. Place onion mixture in small bowl and set aside. Don’t clean your skillet– keep all of that seasoning in one place
Add pork sausage and ground beef to skillet and slowly brown. Once the meat is brown, pour in your Bertolli Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano into the skillet. (The Bertolli Riserva sauces are a delicious collection of sauces that allow you to make Italian food in your home that brings Tuscany to your table!) Add salt. Then add your onion mixture and allow the mixture to simmer for ten minutes or so.
Pour half of your pasta into your casserole dish. (Off topic, but don’t y’all LOVE my vintage Pyrex dish. It’s a Goodwill find for just $4. LOVE IT!) Then layer the sliced provolone cheese, followed by the sour cream, and then the Ricotta.
Then pour in half of the meat and sauce. Add the second half of the pasta, coat the pasta with the shredded mozzarella, then pour the rest of the meat and sauce on top, sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the meat and sauce.
You’ll need to bake it in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. I always put a pan below full casserole dishes because I worry they are going to bubble over, but hey, that’s just me! It’ll be bubbly, gooey and delicious when it comes out of the oven!
What’s your favorite Italian pasta dish to feed your hungry teen? Have you tried the new Bertolli Riserva sauces? If you’d like to, you can visit here to pick up a coupon for $1.50 your next jar of sauce.
However, until January 31st, you can also enter to win $25 to bring a little Tuscany to your table thanks to Bertolli sauces. Enter below:
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