I felt like carbs for dinner but also wanted something more than just plain spaghetti. I also needed something quick to put out for dinner as dinner was in an hour. Working parents all know this feeling.
- 12 large meatballs (Italian sausage or ground beef, can use more to suit family needs and size of meatballs)
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 16 ounces crushed tomatoes (or use fresh cut up)
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup water
- boiling water
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder (I use more- we love garlic, fresh garlic can be substituted)
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 16 ounces ziti pasta (any pasta with a grab- ridges to hold sauce)
- If meatballs are frozen, thaw in microwave to just warmed.
- Put tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes tomato paste, chopped onion, jalapeno pepper, 1/4 cup water, 8 oz of cheese, and seasonings in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and blend together.
- In the meantime, boil water and make noodles to al dente.
- Drain noodles, add to casserole dish and blend in, making sure sauce covers all the noodles.
- Add meatballs and gently blend in cheese.
- Sprinkle 4 oz of cheese on top, covering casserole dish.
- Put in oven at 350°F for 30 minutes.
- Check for burning of cheese (may cover with aluminum foil gently to prevent some burning or browning of cheese).
- Cooking is to warm through and through and to melt cheese. If your oven cooks hot or altitude is high, adjust time in oven.
- I have also made this in a smaller casserole dish and microwaved for a faster dinner in less than 20 minutes.
- May substitute cheese flavors such as Fiesta blend, Taco blend to give another flavor.
- Measurements are not exact on spices as I eyeball them, cheese is a few handfuls in the dish and 1 handful on top.
- My meatballs are Italian sausage meatballs but can be turkey, ground beef or a mixture of any kind.
- NOTE: prep does not include boiling water.