Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baked Ziti with quick meat sauce & Roasted Broccoli

I prepped a quick dish for tonight, last night. I love these dinners just as much as crock-pot ones because I know I can come home, chuck it in the oven & play with my toddler. So here's my easy meat sauce which I used in a baked ziti. I prepped it all last night, with leftover sauce, then wrapped it & refrigerated.

Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce:

  •  olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • S & P
  • 1 TBSp. fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 pound ground beef (I use Angus)
  • 3 cups sauce

On medium-high, heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the onion & stir... sweat the onion (until it is translucent). Add the garlic, S & P, basil... stir for another minute... add the ground beef. Cook it out until the beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Then drain the liquid from the beef in a colander & add the cooked meat back into the pan... Add the sauce, stirring to combine with the beef... Heat through.

Baked Ziti:

  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) ziti or ziti rigati
  • 3+ cups Meat Sauce (above)
  • 15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil, chiffonade
  • S & P
  • 2 TBSp grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9" baking pan.

Cook pasta very al dente ("to the tooth", firm but not hard. it still has more time to cook in the oven!). Drain. In a large bowl, mix in a tiny bit of the sauce & set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together remaining sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, basil (save some herb strips as toppers), S & P. Fold the sauce mixture completely into the pasta.

Poor into the greased baking pan. Top with remaining cup of shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly & browned. 

Serve topped with some fresh basil. 

Meaty/Cheesy goodness!

When I came home, I was also craving something green, so I made roasted broccoli. I have to thank Tales from the Mad Men Kitchen for that one again! YUM.

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