Come on now, we all know that some days are just days of respite! You work full time you have children to take care of a husband to make smile and a dinner to cook. This is the trouble-free meal that no one will imagine was so effortless. If you are really short on time and want a great dinner that is prompt and filling this is the one for you! Baked ziti is a satisfying Italian pasta dish that is easy to make and can easily become one of your favorite comfort foods. Serve this dish with some garlic bread and a light green salad or alone as it is really filling on its own.
For the Baked Ziti
1 box Ziti
28 oz can diced tomatoes in the sauce
3 tsp fresh basil chopped
2 medium yellow onions chopped
½ lb ground beef
(Optional) I added these wonderful homemade sausages that you can perhaps acquire from thecheesecakegarden.com
3 garlic cloves minced
2 small bags of Mozzarella cheese (I used a blend of Motz and parm)
3 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper (and whatever else you would like, maybe some crushed red pepper)
Optionally (I did not use this) you can add some spaghetti sauce of your liking I wanted to keep it out and it worked wonderfully for me.
Again optionally serve with garlic bread, plain bread or no bread. (we are lovers of bread in this household.)
Brown the sausage over med high heat and remove (will still be a bit undercooked)
add the hamburger to the pan and brown. Cut the sausage into bite size pieces. Once the hamburger has been almost completely browned, add the garlic and onion and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the tomatoes, sausage, sauce (optional) basil and sugar, the sugar helps with the acidity.
In a separate pot boil the ziti, once cooked combine all the ingredients into a baking dish, top with cheese (I added a bit to the mixture then topped it off. You can never have too much cheese! !
Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.