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.
Yum, total tub of love, here! This is one great recipe, and I appreciate the suggestion of using authentic Italian ingredients, this really, really, brings the bar up when you do. My kitchen had the aroma of "Momma G." all the way from the garlic, the parm, and well...all of it. Wish I could add something to the recipe, other then my fork, but that's it. Go for it, and enjoy your afternoon with "Momma G." Bravo, petlover! ZWT 7