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dee dee's meaty baked ziti

★★★★★ 3
a recipe by
Diane Atherton

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!

★★★★★ 3
serves 8 to 10
prep time 20 Min
cook time 1 Hr 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For dee dee's meaty baked ziti

  • 2 to 3 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 lg
    onion, chopped
  • 1 lg
    green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 lb
    ground sirloin
  • 1 pkg
    (19-oz) italian sausage, sweet casings removed
  • 4
    (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1
    (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
  • 1
    (15-oz) carton ricotta cheese
  • (16-oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • (8-oz) provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c
    parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lg
  • 1
    (16-oz) box ziti cook not quite al dente

How To Make dee dee's meaty baked ziti

  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    Heat olive oil in large pot over a medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and garlic; saute until tender.
  • 3
    (Break up the Italian sausage). Add beef and sausage to sauteed veggies; brown meat and drain off grease.
  • 4
    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.
  • 5
    Cook ziti until not quite Al Dente. Drain ziti and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • 6
    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.
  • 7
    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.
  • 8
    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.
  • 9
    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.

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