Monday, October 6, 2014

Baked Ziti - Create a Casserole

My whole family is a huge fan of lasagna. Sadly the thing about lasagna is that it is a lot of work to make - in my opinion too much work. So I don't make it - ever! But the thing is, my family really really loves it, it is a guaranteed eat and the leftovers (if there are any) get gobbled up for sure. I like foods like that. I like to know I am feeding my family food that they really like, and I like it even more when none of it goes to "waste". 

So I have been in search of a lasagna like alternative that is quick and easy to make, but will give my family that lasagna experience they are looking forward to. That means I need meaty goodness, cheesy gooyness and layers. My family isn't so big on vegetable lasagna or fancy ways to prepare lasagna, they just want straight up - Meat, Cheese, Sauce and Layers. I think I just may have found the way to meet all the requirements. 


Original recipe makes 10 servings

 1 pound dry ziti pasta
 1 onion, chopped
 1 pound lean ground beef
 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced ( I used Mozzarella instead because I had a big huge bag of it!)  
 1 1/2 cups sour cream
 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.

In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. 

Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. 

Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

 Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.