Oh my gracious! Have you ever made up a recipe and thought "oh my glory! I MUST write this down for future use!!!" We have been working on Italy for Geography, and therefore I have been making LOTS of Italian inspired foods. Tonight was baked ziti.... But for whatever reason, I decided to "play" rather than follow a recipe. I made TWO 13x9 pans - perfect to put one in the freezer for after the baby comes!
1.25 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 small zucchini, diced
1 large onion, diced
1.5 C diced peppers (we prefer multiple colors, so I used red, orange, and yellow)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb ziti (GF if you need it)
2 32oz jars spaghetti sauce (again GF if needed)
2 C ricotta cheese
4 C mozzarella cheese
1 C parmesan cheese
celtic sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two 13x9x2 pans.
2. In a skillet brown the meat. If needed drain, after brown. Pour into large bowl.
3. Start large pot of salted water. Once it starts boiling, add pasta and some olive oil. Cook about 3/4 of the way (my pasta said 11 minutes, so I cooked it for 7 minutes - this prevents it from getting mushy when you bake it). Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Put back in pan.
4. Meanwhile, put about 1/4 C of olive oil in pan you browned meat in. Saute vegetables and garlic until tender.
5. Add veggies and meat to pasta.
6. Pour in one of the jars of spaghetti sauce and mix everything together.
7. In bowl (I used the one I had put the meat), mix ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and eggs. Add to pasta mixture and mix well.
8. Divide mixture into the two greased pans. Pour half of the spaghetti sauce on top of each, spreading over pasta mixture. Sprinkle half cup of parmesan cheese over each.
9. Bake one pan in oven for 30-40 minutes. Then switch oven over to broil for about 5 minutes. Let stand for 10-15 minutes and then ENJOY!!!!!
10. For the one for the freezer, cover pan with plastic wrap and then cover with aluminum foil. Make sure you write what it is with a permanent marker or on a label :)