I always double the recipe and either do a 9x13 for a big group or two 8x8 and freeze/give away one. I use pork italian sausage (browned first) and add chopped red bell pepper and frozen spinach (1 pepper & 1 package spinach when doubling) If you put it all together a day or two early, let it sit in the fridge and then bake right before serving it is really awesome!
Baked Ziti Casserole
Baked ziti is hearty, satisfying, and easy to prepare. To streamline the recipe, we skipped the traditional step of browning the meat before it's combined with the rest of the ingredients; it cooks fully as the casserole bakes. This recipe easily doubles to feed a crowd; bake in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish for 35 minutes.
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- Calories: 362
- Calories from fat: 26%
- Fat: 10.5g
- Saturated fat: 5.5g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.4g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4g
- Protein: 26.3g
- Carbohydrate: 41g
- Fiber: 3.5g
- Cholesterol: 39mg
- Iron: 2.3mg
- Sodium: 546mg
- Calcium: 311mg
- 6 ounces uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
- 2 cups Basic Marinara
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Asiago cheese, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 6 ounces ground turkey breast
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
- Combine pasta, Basic Marinara, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Asiago, salt, pepper sauce, and turkey in a large bowl. Spoon into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Asiago. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- Wine note: A simple baked ziti such as this is best with a good solid red wine, preferably made from the Italian grape sangiovese (the main grape in Chianti). Sangiovese possesses a hint of acidity, which helps it pair beautifully with tomato sauces. For a fuller-bodied sangiovese, try one from California such as Eberle Sangiovese 2005 from Paso Robles ($22). --Karen MacNeil
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