Sunday, June 14, 2009

Baked Ziti Two ways

Happy Sunday everyone. I will be away from the computer for about a week. So I wanted to make sure that I got in a long filled post. I will still be able to receive your emails and comments As they come to my blackberry. I just will only be able to respond to the emails. I will not be able to reply to the comments till I come back. I know I know a little tricky. But I wanted to make sure that I would be able to still keep in touch.

Well today I will be showing how we make Baked Ziti in our home. Since 2/3 of us like our Baked Ziti one way and the other 1/3 likes it another. We have a full day of cooking. So today we are also welcoming Part-Timer. That is my hubby. Who is a great cook. Just a little shy and will join us part of the time. When we need all hands on deck to make a meal.
First I would like to start with PT's version. Jr. Chef and I like our Ziti a little more plain and I figured let's get the tough one out of the way.

Ingredients: (Please note you may not see photos of them all. But they are in there)
1 pound of ground beef
1 green bell pepper
1 whole onion
1 whole garlic
Italian Sausage ( we used hot and mild) 5 total
1 box of Ziti noodles
Pasta Sauce of your choice. We use Del Monte Traditional, and Garlic and Onion
Onion Powder
Peppercorn Melange
Mrs. Dash Original Blend
Mozzarella Cheese
Ricotta Cheese

This is what your Ziti will look like when it is finished.Here are some of your ingredients. Pepper,Sausage, and ground beef.

First you will need to cut your Italian Sausage in slices.

Then you need to slowly cook them in a little bit of oil of your choice. I cook for about 15 minutes. They end up back in the pan a few times. So they will be completely cooked when finished.

Chop your Onion and Bell Pepper

Take your whole garlic

Make sure to crack open and take all pieces out of peel. Then chop into smaller pieces. (oops forgot that pic)

You will then place peppers,onions and garlic into the sausage that is cooking. At this time you will also put in the rest of your seasonings. Please put in the amount that best suites your taste. AS we like our food with a lot of pepper and garlic it may be too much for someone else.

At this point you have also added the cooked ground beef. Yes there was a photo for that one. But after realizing that I uploaded everything. I saw that I was missing that photo in this part. But it will be down below in the second part. As I had to use chop meat there too.

Here we have now added the pasta sauce and we let this simmer for about 10-15 minutes on low while we boiled the noodles.

Once the noodles are done you will drain and then mix with sausage and meat mix.

Now pour in your Ricotta. PT loves Ricotta and can never have enough so he uses the whole jar. It was the smaller jar. Once again this goes by how much you love Ricotta. As Jr. Chef and I do not like Ricotta we leave that part out.

Then mix in the pot till it has all melted and looks nice and creamy like this.

After you have it all nice and mixed you will place in the plan that you will bake it in. Make sure to spread out evenly. Also we PT likes to flatten it. So that is keeps it together better and there are no over spills while cheese is melting and it is baking.

Here you are now going to add your mozzarella cheese. We actually buy a pound and use that per each Ziti. We also buy a block of the cheese and shred at home. Yes you will see that below lol.

Then you place to bake for about 15 minutes on 375. and Voila here it is! If you would like your cheese more browned then you would leave in longer.

OK now if you like your Ziti a little more plain like Jr. Chef and I. Then you would like the recipe below
1 pound Ground Beef
1 box of Ziti noodles
Pasta Sauce of your choice. We use Del Monte Traditional, and Garlic and Onion
Onion Powder
Black Pepper
Mrs. Dash Original Blend
Mozzarella Cheese

This is what you will end up with.

Just in case you did not know what Del Monte Sauce looked like and you wanted to try the way we make it.

Put your pound of ground beef to slowly simmer. At this point you will add all of your spices.

While the Ground beef is cooking. Place your box of noodles to cook in water and about a tablespoon of oil. To make sure noodles do not stick.

OK the ground beef is ready to be drained and set aside in a bowl or container.

I place mine in a container that can be tightly covered. Since I had to meals going on at once. I wanted to make sure it kept as fresh as possible.

Now here is that Mozzarella that I forgot to post earlier. Yes you can see I wasn't lying. We actually take the time to shred our own cheese.

I like to cut the cheese in half. As it is easier to shred when the piece is smaller. But I do use the whole pound.

See there it is. You feel such a great feeling knowing you did it yourself. Just make sure to watch that you do not cut yourself.

OK the noodles are ready

Now I have taken both sauces and mixed them together. The two cans were enough for both Ziti's especially since PT likes his way more saucier.

Place the noodles in the pan you are going to bake in. At this point I have added some sauce.

I also added ground beef and then placed some of the Mozzarella cheese on top.

Then we repeated the layering. As may have noticed with the first Ziti we mix everything together and with this one it is layered like a lasagna. I know weird but we like them made totally different lol.

We like a lot of Mozzarella if you can't tell. We also like it white and creamy. So we baked for only 10 minutes @ 375 degrees.
Well I hope you enjoyed this session of Meals with Momma, Jr. Chef and our special guest Part- Timer.
I would love to hear what you think and what your favorite way is for Baked Ziti


  1. Hi Mara, I followed you from the foodieblogroll. either way, your baked ziti looks delicious! I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind. Just add this foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

  2. Wow, baked zitti is probably one of the best pasta dishes ever! But buying it from Italian restaurants can hurt your budget a little. They're a bit expensive.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  3. Uprinting,

    Yes we love Ziti and it last us for a couple days. So I like that I can focus on other things instead of preparing dinner lol. yes they are expensive. When my husband goes to get some it is like 10.00 for a little square and that is almost what it cost me to make two pans full. I am so into making our own stuff at home. Let me know if you make it. I would love to hear how it turns out. Thank you so much for coming through.


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