I’ve been going through my freezer trying to use up the odds and ends and ran into half a pound of ground beef cooked with peppers and onions. I thought it would go well in a pasta sauce so quickly cooked up some marinara (from canned tomatoes) and added the meat to simmer for a bit. I decided to make some Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce because I think the leftovers are better than just pasta somehow and I also had some ricotta that needed using up.
This went into a 9×9 pan. I’m still figuring out how to cut recipes down even further in size! But I’ll freeze much of the leftovers in a single portions and my girls can take them back to school.
Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce
- 1/2 pound ziti or penne or other tubular pasta cooked
- 1 Tbs oil
- 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt to taste 1/4 tsp?
- 1 sprig of fresh basil
- 1/2 pound cooked ground beef
- 1/2 pound ricotta
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cut into 1/4" cubes
- 2 slices provolone cut into small dice
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan with the garlic and cook just a minute or so, then add the pepper flakes and cook another minute. Add the tomato puree and then rinse the can out with hot water and add to the pan. Stir everything up and bring to a boil. Add the basil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and add the ground beef and simmer another 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in the ricotta cheese.
- Ladle 1/2 cup of the sauce into the 9x9 pan. Spread half the cooked pasta across the baking dish, add half the mozzarella and half the provolone. Pour 1 cup of sauce over this and spread it out. Add the rest of the pasta, the rest of the cheeses and the last of the sauce.
- Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, uncovered. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
- Note: You can also assemble this ahead of time and refrigerate. Cook covered with foil for 15 minutes or so to heat everything up, then uncover and bake another 20-25 minutes.