Diva Tasting: Baked Ziti…

Nonna’s Baked Ziti With Meat Sauce

One of my favorite Italian recipes to order out is Baked Ziti. However, it always tastes best when made at home. Numerous friends have asked me for my recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

1 (16 Ounce) Package Dry Ziti Pasta

1 Pound Mild Italian Sausage

1 Pound Lean Ground Beef

1 (15 Ounce) Container Ricotta Cheese

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Egg

1 Large Yellow Onion, Minced

4 Teaspoons Minced Garlic

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

2 (26 Ounce) Jars Spaghetti Sauce, Divided

3 (8 Ounce) Package Shredded Italian Cheese Blend

1 Teaspoon Dried Basil

Directions

Step 1

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Step 2

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the ziti, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.

Step 3

While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and ground beef, cook and stir until brown and crumbled, about 10 minutes. Drain sausage and beef mixture and set aside.

Step 4

Stir together the ricotta, sour cream, 2 Cups of cheese, egg, onion, garlic, and oregano, ½ cup pasta water in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in the drained pasta, the drained sausage and beef, salt, pepper, and the spaghetti sauce; mix well.

Step 5

In the prepared baking dish, spread the mixture evenly. Top with remaining 8 oz. Of cheese. Sprinkle with basil. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Step 6

Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover; return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted, 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve with garlic bread and Mediterranean salad with vinaigrette.

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