Thursday, November 11, 2010
Here's an easy yet classic recipe that's perfect for this fall weather. It's got all the cheesy, hearty, warm goodness you'd want from a cold weather meal. And it's super easy to make!
Start by getting your noodles boiling and your meat browning.
Add whatever you want to your meat. I just spiced it up a little with some minced onion, seasoning salt, and pepper.
When the meat is browned, drain any fat and pour a whole jar of sauce in there.
Mix it up with the meat and let it simmer while you get the cheese mixture together.
In a medium bowl, combine your cheeses and spices and mix well.
Now that your sauce is getting a little bubbly, pour the sauce/meat mixture in with the noodles and mix to combine.
In a casserole dish, pour half the noodle mixture and spread evenly around the bottom.
Scoop the whole cheese mixture on top of the noodle layer and spread evenly. This part can be a little tricky since the cheese isn't all that willing to spread without pulling up the bottom layer and causing a scene. I found it works best if you spoon small dollops around the whole pan and then smooth those out and blend them together.
Pour the rest of the noodle mixture on top and spread to cover the cheese layer.
Now cover the top with the remaining mozzarella and some parmesan cheese. Loosely cover with foil and stick it in the oven.
I didn't get a fresh from the oven picture because I had to leave abruptly for a Lawrence Arms show (bad timing on my part) but you better believe I had a nice heaping helping as soon as I got home. By the way, Brendan Kelly has a blog which is pretty entertaining if you're interested. Charlie got to shake his hand last night. I think he died a little.
But this is what that cheesy beauty looks like when you pile it up on your plate..
1 box (8 oz) ziti
3/4 lb ground beef (or veg substitute.. I imagine eggplant would be delicious here.)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 3/4 cups (15 oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
While you brown the meat, cook pasta for 8 minutes. When meat is cooked through, drain any fat and pour sauce into pan. Simmer heat/sauce mixture on low heat while you prepare the cheese.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Strain noodles when done and return to pot. Add meat and sauce to pot and mix well.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a 13x9x2 baking dish, pour half the noodle mixture and spread evenly. Spread all of the cheese mixture on top of this. Add the rest of the pasta next. Finish by topping with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Cover loosely with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 min. Remove foil and cook for 5-7 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly on top.
Scoop it onto a plate and eat up!
Ohh boy. Please squint your eyes when you look at these pictures. Apparently my hands are as steady as a 90 year old woman's. I swear, that tripod is coming soon. Just bear with me :S.
**Update** My tripod has just arrived!! *happydancehappydance*