Then I saw how many people RSVP'd.
Complicated? Screw that! I decided to tap my Italian roots and pull out the cheesy gooey goodness. I hope my baked ziti pleases. And if not, it is an family recipe, so I will use my super Italian guilt power to make them love it.
Baked Ziti serves 20, or 4 if you are my mom cooking for Christmas
- 4 boxes of ziti pasta
- 3 jars of vodka pasta sauce (must be vodka sauce)
- 6 cups of mozzarella cheese
- 2 pint containers of ricotta cheese
- 3 pounds ground beef
- spices: pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes
- Fill a large stock pot (6 qts) with water and set to boil
- Put half the beef in a pan, season with the spices, and cook on low. (I used a non-stick pan).
- Once the water is boiling, put in two boxes of the pasta and cook according to the instructions.
- Once the pasta and beef are cooked, it is time to assemble.
- Drain pasta and transfer to a large baking dish.
- Transfer the cooked beef into the large baking dish.
- Empty one jar of pasta sauce into the baking dish.
- Add in 2.5 cups of cheese and one of the ricotta pints.
- Mix (I had to use my hands to really mix in the ricotta. If you are someone who is eating this cheesy goodness, I did wash my hands first.)
- Top with 1/2 of another jar of sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Place in over and cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Repeat with the other half the the ingredients.
- To reheat, place in over at 400 for 15 minutes.