Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baked Ziti (Pioneer Woman)

I just made this the other night and it is without a doubt my new favorite baked ziti recipe.  I make baked ziti quite often since it's one of my favorites. Especially for potlucks....it goes a long way.  I have made several versions but for whatever reason I REALLY, REALLY like this one best.  It's not too cheesy. I don't like too much cheese. It can get overpowering. This one also uses a mixture of meat. Ground beef and sausage. I'm sure the sausage adds lots of extra flavor to it.  I love Pioneer Woman's recipes. They have always turned out well for me. As far as I'm concerned they are foolproof.  I mean, you not only have the recipe but you have the pictures at her site that will guide you every step of the way.  This doesn't mean I won't mess up....I mess up easily. It just means that the odds of this coming out good are with me and not against me!!!!!  I met Ree Drummond at the book signing of her first cookbook about 2 years ago.  She is one sweet lady. I'm glad she has had lots of success.  Have you ever watched her show on the Food Network?  Good show.
Anyhow, try this recipe if you are in the mood for Italian food.....this is really good if you need a tasty, easy dish to bring to a potluck or for company. Enjoy!!!!

■2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■3 cloves Garlic, Minced
■1 whole Large Onion, Diced
■1 pound Italian Sausage
■1 pound Ground Beef
■1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
■2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
■2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
■1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
■Salt And Pepper, to taste
■16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
■1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
■1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
■1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
■1 whole Egg
■Fresh Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.
Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
(Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!)


Jenn said...

One of my all time favorite dishes, baked ziti! Simple, delicious, comforting... how can you go wrong???

Joanne said...

The pioneer woman always does comfort food so well! This looks awesome!

Blond Duck said...

I just saw her show! She talks like she writes!

Blond Duck said...

Just had to let you know, I'm craving lasagna now!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This is one of my favorite potluck meals. Great food for a crowd.

Rachel Page said...

Mmm… I can smell it! This is true comfort food.