We have a confession. We don't like restaurant Italian food. You won't find us dining at Olive Garden, or any other "Italian" restaurant. Maybe it's because we prefer our American Italian food that we prepare at home over anything we've ever ordered at a restaurant.
This baked ziti recipe is one that we make about twice a month. And it makes a ton. It also happens to be our twenty-two month old's favorite food. Yes, she will eat this over chicken nuggets, french fries and pizza any day! She even helps me prepare it. It's quick and easy to make, and always a crowd pleaser!
What you'll need...
• one box of ziti pasta (one pound)
• one pound of lean ground beef
• one 45 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce (we use Prego traditional)
• one and a half cups of sour cream
• one bag of mozzarella cheese (4 cups)
• ten to twelve slices of provolone cheese
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with a non stick spray.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta and cook until al dente; about ten minutes. Drain the noodles. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium to high heat. Drain and add spaghetti sauce. Simmer for fifteen minutes.
Layer as follows: 1/2 ziti, provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 the meat sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and the remaining meat sauce mixture.
Bake for thirty minutes in the preheated oven.
It takes fifteen to twenty minutes to prepare, and thirty minutes to bake. And it's easy enough to make on a week night. I've made homemade lasagna, homemade spaghetti and other American Italian dishes, but this one is my family's favorite. Give it a try and let me know what you think. It's also our go to meal to deliver to friends during sickness, or after the birth of a baby!
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