With the holiday season in full swing, I find our nights are filled with tree decorating, holiday parties, special school activities and more. With all the fun of the holidays, taking time to cook dinner is not my main focus (oops). We tend to have more take out and “breakfast for dinner”. I recently tried to make a really simple version of baked ziti with what I had in the fridge/pantry. It came out pretty good, so I made it again. It’s really fast, easy and requires few ingredients.
For the sauce, I used Hoboken Farms Big Red Marinara. The Hoboken Farms sauces are a new pantry staple in our house. I have never been a big jarred sauce fan. My mom always made homemade sauce and before having a bunch of little ones in the house, I used to make more homemade sauce too. I realized if I’m going to make quick weeknight meals I had to find a jarred sauce I liked. After trying a quite a few, Hoboken Farms is definitely our favorite. You can find them at Shoprite, Kings, Whole Foods, Bed Bath and Beyond and other small retailers. I’d highly recommend their Big Red Marina for this recipe.
Easy Baked Ziti
1 lb ziti
1 lb ground beef
1 large jar pasta sauce or about 24-32oz of sauce (I recommend Hoboken Farms Big Red Marinara)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan
1 cup ricotta cheese
Cook pasta. For this, I recommend subtracting a minute or 2 from the recommended cooking time. Drain pasta, add a little olive oil and set aside.
Brown & cook meat. Drain. Add the meat back to the pan, add in sauce, stir and let cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle with pepper, oregano or Italian seasoning if you want.
Layer in a pan (I use a Le Creuset casserole pan for this recipe):
Coat the bottom of the pan in the sauce/ meat mixture. Add a few small spoonfuls of ricotta.
All of the pasta, then rest of the sauce/meat mixture, then the rest of the ricotta
Top with all of the mozzarella & parmesan
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20min. Enjoy!