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According to Wikipedia.com, baked ziti is a baked Italian casserole dish made with ziti macaroni and sauce. In many recipes, the ziti are first cooked separately while a tomato and cheese sauce is prepared, which may include meat, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and more. The cooked and drained ziti are then combined with the cooked sauce, which may be layered with additional varieties of cheeses, baked in the oven, and served hot. A similar al forno dish with a different type of pasta is baked mostaccioli which, in Italian means (loosely) “of the chicken”.
Baked ziti has been characterized as a dish that “has remained a standby for generations” in Italian-American homes and restaurants.
This recipe is easy to make and doesn’t dirty up a lot of different dishes. I served this with some World Famous Garlic Bread. Here is how it was prepared:
Easy Baked Ziti Casserole
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
2 26oz cans spaghetti sauce
8 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
- In a large skillet, brown onion, garlic, and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray nonstick spray in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted. Serve with Garlic Bread.