Baked Ziti

This is a great comfort food on a cold day. It's easy to make and great as a weekday meal. This recipe makes about 6 servings. This dish makes excellent leftovers; the pasta really soaks up more of the juice from the meat.  I feel  the same way about chinese food! I always like eating leftover chinese food because I think it has more flavor. Let me know what you think :)












Ingredients:
olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 jar of marinara sauce
2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red paper flakes
salt and pepper
1 pound ziti (Use corn pasta for Gluten-free option)
2 8ounces fresh mozzarella balls, diced 
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
one 15-ounce tub ricotta cheese 
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 teaspoon dried parsley 
1 egg

Directions: 
1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. 
2. Add garlic and onions and saute until onions are translucent. 
3. Add the ground beef and cook until browed. Drain off almost all of the fast. Leave a little bit behind for flavor. 
4. Add fresh tomatoes and let it cook for 10 minutes Add marinara sauce, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt/pepper. 
5. Stir.Bring to simmer for about 20- 30 minutes on low heat. Remove half of the sauce and put it aside to cool down. 
6. Cook ziti until quite al dente. Drain and set aside
7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

8.In a bowl, mix fresh mozzarella balls, ricotta, parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt/pepper. Stir together but do not completely mix. 
9.Pour pasta into the cheese mix bowl. Toss together. Mix in half of the cooled meat sauce. Toss together. Add half of the coated pasta (pasta with sauce and cheese) into a large casserole 
10. Spoon half of the remaining sauce on top. Repeat another layer of coated pasta
11. add the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle the 1/2 cup grated mozzarella on top. 
12. Bake for about 20 -25 minutes. Let is stand for 5 minutes before serving. 


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