Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baked Ziti

  • 2 boxes uncooked ziti pasta (or use penne pasta)
  • 4 lbs ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (to taste) (optional)
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper , seeded and chopped
  • 3 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 23.5oz jars of Marinara (I used Newman's Organic)
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (reserve half for bake day)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese , divided (or to taste)


  1. 1
    In a large pot cook the pasta in boiling salted water until JUST al dente (leave the pasta still firm, do not overcook) drain but do NOT rinse.
  2. 2
    Transfer to a large bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together; set adise.
  3. 3
    In a pot or Dutch oven cook the ground or sausage meat with chili flakes, if using and onion until beef is lightly browned; drain fat.
  4. 4
    Add in the garlic and bell pepper; cook stirring about 10 minutes.
  5. 5
    Season with seasoned salt or white salt and ground black pepper.
  6. 6
    Stir in the pasta sauce and reduce heat to low; simmer stirring for about 25-30 minutes.
  7. 7
    Mix in 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and the cooked ziti pasta.
  8. 8
    Divide the mixture between disposable foil pans.
  9. 9
    Sprinkle about 3/4 cup or to taste of Parmesan cheese over each top of pan (do not bake).
  10. 10
    Cool completely then cover with heavy foil, freeze until ready to use or bake one right away!
  11. 11
    Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  12. 12
    TO BAKE; set oven to 350 degrees F.
  13. 13
    Bake uncovered for about 45-50 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  14. 14
    Remove from oven and sprinkle about 2 cups mozzarella cheese on top, then return to oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
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