This is another baked ziti recipe. If available, use authentic Italian brands of sauce and crushed tomatoes. The italian brands of canned tomatoes are all 28 oz--just use a bit less. When forming the meatballs, test for consistency: the meatball should hold together well. If too soft then add some bread crumbs. If too stiff then add a bit of water. I use a lasagna pan for this ( spray with non-stick spray for easiest cleanup)
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 1 (26 ounce) jar pasta sauce
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 12 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 large eggs
- 1⁄2 lb lean ground meat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- .1. Cook ziti until al dente and then rinse to cool and set aside.
- 2. Mix ground meat, onion, bread crumbs, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 egg and 1/2 tsp basil. Form into small meatballs ( a little less than a walnut). Then cook the meatballs in the olive oil until the meatballs are browned and cooked through. Drain off the fat then set aside.
- 3. Mix the ricotta, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp parsley, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 of mozzarella and 1 egg together. Set aside. Then mix the ricotta mixture with the ziti and set aside again.
- 4. Mix the jar of pasta sauce and the basil crushed tomatoes together then set aside.
- 5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 6. Assemble: 1/3 of the sauce- followed by 1/2 of the ziti/ricotta/mozzarella-followed by the meatballs- then -- 1/3 sauce - followed by the rest of the ziti/ricotta/mozzarella mix- followed by the last 1/3 of the sauce followed by the rest of the mozzarella and sprinkled with the parmesan cheese.
- 7. Bake, loosely covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.