our mom doesn't cook. can you believe it? she just doesn't. she hates it. our parents eat out nearly every night and when they eat in it is mainly prepared foods. one of the things my Mom would heat up when I was in high school a lot was ziti from costco. oh my deliciousness. it's heavenly. and sometimes when i would come home from college on breaks, this managed to find itself into the oven. even still, going home as a new mommy myself, this finds its way into the cart.
so i was excited to find a recipe for baked ziti on a recipe blog. i figured it wasn't going to be nearly as good as the costco one but i thought it would be a decent replacement since my costco doesn't supply the delicious ziti. boy was i wrong. it tasted EXACTLY the same! I was shocked! I went back for seconds...maybe even thirds.
then I had it for lunch the next day (2 bowls) and dinner the same day (1 bowl, because there wasn't enough for Mr. E and I to both have seconds).
i only made a few alterations to the recipe and i would make just some slight alterations later. but i'm sure the original correct recipe is just as good! the original recipe is: HERE.
makes 1 13x9 pan
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped (i love onions...so delicious)
1 pound hot Italian sausage---USE HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE. if you forget to buy it, you can use ground beef but please use hot italian sausage. it's perfect. and make sure you have one pound. i only had 12 oz. and it was not nearly enough for my palate.
2 t. minced garlic
2 t. italian seasonings + 2 more teaspoons
35 oz. your choice of spaghetti sauce (I used Prego because if Ragu stepped into this house, Mr. E would step out)
6 oz. Provolone cheese, sliced (9 rounds) anything with provolone is heaven to me.
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup ricotta (if you really need to you can use just sour cream or just ricotta, but the sour cream really does help the ricotta to spread well once it is in the dish.)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
bring water to a boil, make sure it has a good sampling of salt in it and pour in your ziti. cook until al dente, about 8-9 minutes. make sure it isn't overcooked because it will continue to cook a little in the oven. no one wants dry pasta, trust me.
in a large skillet, and i mean large people, brown the onion and sausage over medium heat. add minced garlic and cook for a minute. please don't burn your garlic. i manage to burn it just about every single time i use it. add the spaghetti sauce and italian seasonings and summer for about 15 minutes.
while your sauce is simmering, make your ricotta mix. mix your ricotta and sour cream and put 2 t. of the italian seasonings into a bowl and mix well. you may find you need more italian seasonings. let's be honest, i don't measure seasonings. or vanilla...but that's another story.
preheat your oven to 350. spray a 13x9 dish. then layer as follows:
- 1/2 ziti
- 1/2 sauce mixture
- provolone cheese (oh delicious)
- ricotta mix
- remaning ziti
- remaining sauce
bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
please make this. you will love it!