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Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti is a classic Italian-American dish that is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food. This cheesy and flavorful pasta casserole is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a gathering with friends. With a combination of pasta, tomato sauce, and melted cheese, this dish is a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Servings
15 mins 40 mins 55 mins 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454g) ziti pasta
  • 1 pound (454g) ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the ziti pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and cook until the onion is translucent.
  4. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked ziti pasta and the tomato sauce. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
  6. Transfer half of the pasta mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle half of the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta.
  7. Layer the remaining pasta mixture on top, followed by the remaining shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Remove the baked ziti from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired, before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Baked Ziti is a versatile dish that can be served on its own as a main course or paired with a side salad and garlic bread for a complete meal. It's a great option for potlucks, family gatherings, or any occasion where you want to feed a crowd. Leftovers can be refrigerated and enjoyed for lunch or dinner the next day.

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