Homemade Baked Ziti
Another family favorite and it goes such a long way. I have a very big family and live on a budget. When I make my meals I try to get two meals out of one. I think everyone can appreciate that these days.
- 2 lb ziti or penne pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 lb whole milk riccota cheese, or skim, fat free
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 8 oz. bags mozzarella shredded cheese, or skim, fat free
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Italian Sauce
- 2 large cans (28 oz.) Tuttorosso/with basil - this is my particular favorite, or any canned tomatoes if you have a favorite, crushed tomatoes + 2 half cans of hot water
- 1 12 oz. can of Hunt's tomato paste
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped fine
- 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 large green pepper, chopped fine
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp basil**
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning**
- 1/4 tsp oregano**
- 1/4 tsp black pepper**
- 1/4 tsp rosemary**
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning**
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp of sugar
- salt if needed- 1/2 teaspoon per large can of tomatoes.
- 1/2 cup of red wine or red cooking wine (opt)
**Seasonings to your taste; All recipes I suggest to start out with 1/4 teaspoon, until it simmers and then do a test taste and add which ever seasoning you think you need more of.
- To prepare sauce, using a large pot, add olive oil, then onions, green & red peppers, and garlic.
- Sauté until they are sizzling and start cooking, if they get too hot, remove pan from the burner and put a splash of water to keep from browning.
- Add the tomato paste, and 1 can of water, stirring into the vegetables.
- Add tomatoes, then the two 1/2 cans of water.
- Stirring everything very well, bring to a boil, then turn down to a medium simmer.
- Add grated cheese, wine, and all the seasonings. Stirring them in carefully and well, as they will not lump or stick together.
- Simmer about 2-3 hours. You can turn this off and keep it covered and the heat will continue to cook the sauce. If the sauce thickens too much, just add an extra cup of water. I like a thin sauce especially if making a pasta dish.
- Using a large roasting pan, layer the bottom with enough sauce to just cover it. This will seem similar to making a lasagna.
- Put about 1/3 of the pasta over the sauce. Meanwhile you are mixing your riccota, 1 bag of mozzarella, eggs, and parmesan cheese together. Mix very well. Add 1/2 tsp of each salt and pepper, a sprinkle of parsley and basil.
- I use a large spoon and spoon out six spoonfuls of cheese onto the pasta and gently smooth this over.
- Then add another layer of my sauce. Repeat the pasta, sauce, all the cheese mixture, then a layer of sauce in the end. Top with 1 bag of shredded mozzarella across the whole top and a light sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Yummy! Kids will love this!
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