This is actually my second time making some fuckin ziti, and to beat a cliche about the head, second time is the charm.
Warning – your heart may explode just reading the ingredients. Caution is recommended.
1 lb dry ziti pasta (I couldn’t find any ziti, so my noodles are actually rigatone)
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 26 oz jars spaghetti sauce
a bit of red wine of your choosing
6 oz provolone cheese, sliced
1/2 of a container of sour cream (~8 oz)
1/2 of a container of ricotta (~7.5oz)
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkled until you’re happy. Say 4 pinches
The first time I tried it, I used turkey meat instead of the beef. While healthier… it’s still turkey meat. So “browning” it really just turned it into some relatively tasteless grey bits of texture. Which is fine, but I didn’t add any seasoning to compensate.
For the sauces, you can either make some of your own or store bought. I used store brands and mixed a spicy tomato marinara with a tomato and garlic sauce. YMMV, but this blend was quite tasty for me, but I think we’ve identified that I like spicy and I like garlic. In an ode to ghostfinger, I also added some wine to the sauce (a shiraz). Probably not enough to notice, but the results were tasty so I’m considering it to be a job well done.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook until al dente (~8 minutes)1 then drain and set aside.
- In a separate pot, add marinara. Set to simmer.
- Brown onion, garlic, and ground beef. Add to marinara. Mix and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9×13 (inches) baking dish. Add the ziti in layers described below.
- First layer: 1/2 of the pasta, provolone cheese, then spread the sour cream and ricotta on top. Add 1/2 of the marinara.
- Second layer: remaining 1/2 of pasta, mozzarella cheese, remaining 1/2 of marinara. Sprinkle parmesan on top to taste/visual/as you like it.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted.
Now, I didn’t remember this so much from the first time, but that 9×13 tray will be alarmingly full. Not enough to really scare you that it’s going to explode. In any event, the tray will also be heavy enough to use as a weapon and/or counterweight.
I tried to get a shot of some plated ziti, but… that didn’t work so well. Given the amount of cheese and marinara involved, you can imagine the gloop. I’m not a good nonmessy gloop spooner and I wasn’t willing to wait until the dish set before eating, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
Food cost: $20-24, including marinara
Servings: a bazillion, but I’m going to go with 8.
Review: 5/5. Hey, it’s fuckin ziti! Loaded with fat and cheese. Anything less than sheer bliss is criminal. I may add some hot pepper flakes next time. That sounds yummy too.