baked ziti

Categories: Grains and Pasta, Posted by Sandy Bergsten


1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (Rao’s recommended)

8 ounces ground beef or sausage

¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese

12 ounces dried pasta (ziti, penne, cavatelli)



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

In a large saucepan or small stock pot over medium heat cook the ground beef or sausage until browned, crumbled and cooked through. Drain well.

Add the olive oil to the empty pot. Over medium to medium-low heat sauté the onion with a pinch of salt until the onion is softened and almost golden. 

Add the marinara sauce and the browned meat. Lower the heat and simmer for at least five minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add two pinches of salt. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente. Reserve I cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta.

Add the cooked pasta to the marinara sauce. Stir well. Add a little pasta water at a time to make a silky sauce that coats the pasta (note- you might only need a quarter cup of pasta water).

Transfer the pasta to the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and parmesan chesses. With a spoon push some the cheese into the pasta.

Bake uncovered for twenty minutes or until hot, bubbly and lightly browned.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6

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