How to Make Baked Ziti with Ground Beef and Cheese – A Comforting Italian Dish

Baked ziti is a classic Italian dish that is perfect for a cozy family dinner. This recipe is easy to follow and combines ziti pasta, ground beef, tomato sauce, and three types of cheese to create a delicious, comforting meal that everyone will love. Here’s a step-by-step recipe to guide you through the process.

Ingredients:

– 1 pound ziti pasta
– 1 pound ground beef
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 jar (24 oz) tomato sauce
– 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 cup ricotta cheese
– 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

3. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.

4. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese.

6. Add the cooked ziti pasta to the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss gently to coat the pasta with the cheese.

7. Pour half of the tomato sauce mixture into the greased baking dish. Add the pasta and cheese mixture on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining tomato sauce mixture over the top of the pasta and cheese.

8. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

9. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top of the baked ziti and serve hot.

Baked ziti with ground beef and cheese is a classic Italian comfort food that is sure to please everyone at the dinner table. The combination of flavorful tomato sauce, tender ziti pasta, and three types of cheese create a rich and satisfying dish that is perfect for any occasion. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a delicious and comforting meal with your loved ones.

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