From Kalamazoo Michigan, Kim Neer makes this comforting Italian dish with a from-scratch spaghetti sauce, ziti pasta and a generous combination of cheeses.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar (28 ounces) reduced-sodium meatless spaghetti sauce
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
- 1 package (16 ounces) ziti or 16 ounces small tube pasta
- 1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a large saucepan, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, basil and 1 teaspoon oregano. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg substitute, salt and pepper.
- In two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes coated with cooking spray, spread 1 cup of meat sauce. In each dish, layer a fourth of the pasta, 1 cup meat sauce and a fourth of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers of pasta, sauce and cheese mixture.
- Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and oregano. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (12 servings each).
Originally published as Baked Ziti in Light & Tasty February/March 2001, p65
Full-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.
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