Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baked Ziti With Ricotta

This dish is super-easy, super-quick, and makes a lot of leftovers—in other words, the perfect weeknight meal. I added some balsamic vinegar to the tomato sauce for a little tangy sweetness and depth of flavor. Definitely a good addition!

Baked Ziti With Ricotta
1 onion, chopped
1 (8-oz.) sliced portobello mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 lb. ground sirloin
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
8 to 10 oz. cooked ziti
1 (15-oz.) container ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
4 provolone cheese slices

1. Sauté onion and next 2 ingredients in hot oil, stirring regularly. Stir in salt, pepper, and oregano. Add in ground sirloin and sausage, and cook, stirring often, until meat is browned and crumbled. Stir in tomatoes, breaking them into chunks with spoon. Stir in vinegar and basil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and dried crushed red pepper.
2. Combine ziti, ricotta, and salt to taste. Spread into bottom of a lightly greased baking dish. Pour tomato mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and layer top with provolone.
3. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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