Dee Dee's Meaty Baked Ziti

Diane Hopson Smith


This was my first attempt at Baked Ziti. I made a marinara sauce that I use in many of my other dishes. You could save time by purchasing already made sauce but this sauce is so good I won't.

Jimmy and I were both very pleased with this dish.

Company worthy and will feed a crowd!

Hope you enjoy!

pinch tips: Perfect Pasta Every Time



8 to 10


20 Min


1 Hr 20 Min




2 to 3 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin
1 large
onion, chopped
1 large
green bell pepper, chopped
4 clove
garlic, minced
1 lb
ground sirloin
1 pkg
(19-oz) italian sausage, sweet casings removed
(14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes
(8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp
red pepper flakes
2 tsp
italian seasoning
1 tsp
sweet basil, dried
1 tsp
fennel seed
salt and pepper to taste
(15-oz) carton ricotta cheese
(16-oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded
(8-oz) provolone cheese, shredded
1/2 c
parmesan cheese, grated
1 large
(16-oz) box ziti cook not quite al dente

Directions Step-By-Step

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a large baking dish. NOTE: I used a 9 X 15 inch pan and I needed a larger pan. There was a little zitz and sauce left over.
Heat olive oil in large pot over a medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and garlic; saute until tender.
(Break up the Italian sausage). Add beef and sausage to sauteed veggies; brown meat and drain off grease.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, basil, fennel seed, salt and pepper; bring to simmer and reduce heat. Simmer over med/low heat for 20 minutes covered. Remove lid and simmer another 20 minutes, stirring occassionally to thicken. Taste test and add additional seasoning if desired.
Cook ziti until not quite Al Dente. Drain ziti and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
In a large bowl mix ricotta, parmesan and egg; add mozzella (save 1 cup for topping) and provolone cheeses. Stir to combine. This mixture will be thick.
Place 1/2 of noodles in large baking pan with all the noodles laying same direction. This takes a little time, but makes a really pretty presentation when you serve.
With a cookie or ice cream scoop, place dollups of the ricotta mixture over the pasta reserving 1/2 for the 2nd layer. Spoon 1/2 of the meat mixture over cheese. Repeat layer. Top with the reserved cup of mozzarella.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until you see bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and let set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian