This dish is so hearty and downright delicious! I love the creaminess of the ricotta with the richness of the meat sauce. Plus, it’s super easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ziti
  • 1.75 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz whole canned tomatoes
  • 2 jars tomato sauce
  • 12 oz grated mozzarella
  • 15 oz ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan

Start by preheating your oven to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook your ziti according to directions, but stop when the noodles are al dente, or still just slightly hard to the bite- we’ll be baking them, so you want them just undercooked. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet on the stove, add the olive oil, along with the onion and minced garlic. Stir over medium high heat for a few minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent and fragrant. Then, add in your ground beef, stirring frequently until browned. Mix in the basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add the tomato sauce and whole canned tomatoes. Combine and slightly break up the whole tomatoes using your spoon or spatula. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced and thick.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan, and about half of the mozzarella with some salt and pepper. When combined, stir in the cooked ziti and about half of your meat sauce.

Grab a baking/casserole dish. You want to add a layer of the sauce followed by a layer of the leftover mozzarella. Then, about half of your pasta, some more sauce, some more pasta, the last bit of sauce, followed by the rest of the cheese right on top. Crack some fresh black pepper across the top, if you’d like. Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and lightly browned. Yum!

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