This is an easy baked ziti pasta to make during week days, real fast. Only compromise is the purchased pasta sauce, but it is ok every now and then, not all the time, smile. The cheeses and my seasonings choices makes this dish simple, uncomplicated and yummy.
Approx. Prep and Cook Time: under 30 Minutes
Approximate Cost: $10.20 or $2.55 per serving
Difficulty Level: Easy
Allergens, Other: N/A - (NOT GLUTEN FREE)
1 lb. Extra lean ground beef ($3.00)
3 c. Ziti noodles ($1.20)
2 tbsp. Onion powder (.10)
2 tbsp. Garlic powder (.10)
1 tbsp. AdoboChon (.10)
1 -24 oz. Jar of Pasta sauce (of your choice $2.25)
2 chopped Scallions (.15)
2 ½ to 3 c. shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese ($3.30)
Season the ground beef with Onion powder, Garlic powder, and AdoboChon.
Then, brown the meat in a skillet in med-low to extract the meat fat. (However, I used extra lean beef so, I did not used basting oil for that same reason.) Since the meat was extra lean, it only provided me with its juices, so I kept it.
Add ½ the jar of the pasta sauce to the cooked meat, stir well to incorporate, place the lid on and allow it to come to a short simmer.
While the pasta sauce is simmering, start cooking the ziti according to the box directions. (Boil enough water to cook the pasta, add salt to taste. When boiling, carefully add the pasta and stir. Allow to cook until al-dente, about 8 minutes. (Follow the box instructions.)
Don’t forget to stir the sauce every now and then while the pasta is cooking and add more pasta sauce as needed. (I don’t like mine dry.)
Drain the pasta but do not discard the water.
Add the pasta to the simmering sauce and stir to incorporate. If needed add some of the pasta boiled water and more sauce, continue to simmer.
Pour half of the ziti-meat mix to a 9x13 oil sprayed prepared baking pan. Add half of the cheeses, then top with another layer of the ziti mix, with a last layer of the cheeses.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil making sure that it does not touch the cheese layer of the dish.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove the foil and bring it back to the oven under broil for few minutes to brown the cheese to taste.
To serve, garnish with chopped scallions.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.