Baked Ziti

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Servings: 10 people 1 lb ziti pasta, or penne pasta 1 lb ground beef, 85% lean 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 5 cups marinara sauce 15 oz fresh ricotta 10 fresh basil leaves 12 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Ingredients

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Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions until just al dente, then drain (do not overcook as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven).

INSTRUCTIONS

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In a deep pan or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion, breaking up the beef with a spatula, until beef is fully cooked through and onions are softened (5-7 minutes). 

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Add minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and sauteé for another minute. Add 5 cups marinara sauce, bring to a simmer, and continue cooking for 5 minutes then turn off the heat. Spread a ladle of meat sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.

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Add chopped basil and spoon in ricotta into the remaining sauce Add cooked pasta and stir just until noodles are coated (you want to keep that ricotta texture) Transfer half of the pasta to the casserole dish. Top with 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella and 1/2 of the grated parmesan. 

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Add the remaining pasta and top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Clear the edges of the pan so the cheese doesn’t burn onto the dish. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

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