Archive for the ‘baked ziti’ Category

Baked Ziti

 Sorry to be away for a while, things have been hectic!  This is the blog I meant to post on Monday of this week 🙂

I was catching some flack around the house lately because we hadn’t had a pasta night the past few weeks.  I know that will disappoint my Dad, who must have pasta once a week, preferrably on Wednesdays.  Sorry Dad.

Anyway, so I thought I would suprise Jason when he came home from his trip last weekend with something involving homemade tomato gravy.  Meatballs seemed like lots of work to someone in such a lazy mood, so I looked online for a basic baked ziti recipe.  A quick stop at www.allrecipes.com and I had found a few recipes containing an ingredient I had never seen in baked ziti… sour cream!

 I LOVE sour cream, and this was a chance to combine it with another ingredient I love – CHEESE!  I can hear my italian mother right now “Maria – step away from the sour cream, it doesn’t belong in baked ziti!”

Here was my doctored version of the allrecipes.com recipe:

  • olive oil to coat a heavy pot

  • 1lb ground sirloin

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced eggplant

  • 2 26oz cans crushed san marzano tomatoes

  • dried italian herb mix

  • 1/4 -1/2 cup good italian red wine (see below)

  • 3/4 cup light sour cream

  • 3/4 cup light ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1lb cooked ziti or rigatoni

Brown the ground beef, onion, garlic and eggplant in the pan with the olive oil. When beef is browned, drain the oil out of the pan. Add the tomatoes to the mixture, bring to a simmer with the italian herb mix to taste.  Cover and let cook for a long time (I let it go for about an hour). 

While the pasta is cooking,  mix the ricotta, sour cream, parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella in a large bowl.   This is the time to add the wine to your slowly simmering meat sauce.

After draining the pasta, add it to the ricotta cheese mixture with over half of the meat sauce.  Tranfer this to a buttered glass baking dish, top with the rest of the sauce and then the rest of the mozzarella cheese.   Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and you can see the liquid in the dish starting to bubble.  Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

I have to tell you, this was some kick-a@@ baked ziti.  Jason agreed, and he got his fix of italian food for a welcome back home treat, plus lunch the next day!

 All of those reviews on allrecipes.com were right. Sour cream does belong in baked ziti, at least in my world it does.

This was the wine we used in the sauce and finished with dinner.  The picture I took wasn’t very pretty, but it was good, so click the link to learn more about it.

 Talk to you soon! 

Edited to add:  This is my most popular post!  If you try this and love it or hate I would love to hear about it! (more…)


Read Full Post »