I made baked ziti last week for dinner and the kids are still talking about it. Well, except for The Grunter, who doesn’t eat noodles. No, I didn’t traumatize him with a pasta dish.
Scary Baby said “it was the best dinner ever.” I was going to freeze 1/2 of it but the kids who are not crazy about leftovers…ate it all!
As I assembled it in the kitchen, Wizzy watched intently because she loves to know how to make dinner “the way mom does” which is rare these days. She noted that “it would have been cool if we had taken pictures and then put them on the blog.” What a great idea. That we didn’t do…
This is a quick, easy meal you can make ahead of time. During the season of life with 3 toddlers, I would often make an extra pan and freeze it. It is my go-to meal when I need to deliver a meal to a family in need. Throw in a loaf of fresh bread (or frozen garlic bread) and “salad in a bag” (yeah, I send something green and vegetable-like to other families) and you have a delicious, hearty meal. I’m all about convenience and ease so if I’m making it to take to another family, I make it in a disposable foil pan so no one has to worry about returning dishes.
Don’t forget dessert – if the family has little ones I always send knox blox (stop laughing) and some cookies or cake. They’ll love you for it, I’m telling you!
Our way: I use one jar of Prego spaghetti sauce & one can of Hunt’s tomato sauce. I season the sauce with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, minced onion, pepper & brown sugar. I wish I could tell you how much, but I don’t know. My educated guess would be about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of each and about 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Basil? Hmm, I might sprinkle in some dry basil leaves. You don’t seriously think we would have a fresh, green herb in our house, do you? Oh, and I use shredded mozzarella and there’s no such thing as too much cheese at our house so I use about 2 cups and save a little for the top. I spread the sour cream on top of the cheese slices and then add sauce. I use an 11 x 13 pan.
- 1 16 oz package rigatoni pasta (or any shape you like!)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 (28 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
- 6 ounces sliced provolone cheese
- 6 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1-1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al denté; drain. In a large skillet, brown beef over medium heat and add onions. Drain off fat and add spaghetti sauce; simmer for about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º and lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place about half of the pasta; top with a layer of provolone and mozzarella cheese slices. Spread on a layer of half sour cream and half spaghetti sauce. Repeat with pasta, cheese, sour cream and sauce; sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cheese and sauce are bubbly.
I’d love to hear if you make this and what you think!
This recipe is from one of my favorite recipe sites: allrecipes.com