This time around, I decided to use a disposable aluminum pan, which is a bit deeper. It is definitely better for this huge batch of pasta, but you really have to be careful and support it with a cookie sheet or baking pan. This recipe weighs a ton!
The Pioneer Woman
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole large onion, diced
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) tomato sauce or marinara sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper, to taste
16 oz. Ziti or Mostaciolli
1 container (15 oz.) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 and 1/1 lbs. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, minced
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes. Once the onions have softened a bit, add the Italian sausage and ground beef. Cook until browned. Drain the fat.
Add the tomatoes (with their juice) and tomato sauce, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3-4 cups of the meat sauce to a separate bowl and allow it to cool.
While the meat sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Do not overcook. Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process. Allow it to cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate (large) bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Stir together until just slightly mixed. Add the cooled pasta and toss until slightly combined. Add the 3-4 cups of reserved meat sauce, which should now be cool.
Prepare a large casserole dish with olive oil spray or PAM. Add half the coated pasta to the dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half of the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes (or until bubbling and the cheese is just beginning to brown). Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Ziti vs. Mostaccioli vs. Penne. I don't think it really matters which you use. I usually have Penne Pasta on hand, so that's what I used.
I blended the whole tomatoes just enough so there weren't a lot of big chunks in the sauce.
I allowed the sauce to simmer for a couple of hours rather than just 30 minutes.
This really makes a lot, so once the dish had completely cooled, I put a couple of servings in quart-size freezer bags for future meals. We ate some of the leftovers (that weren't frozen) over the next few days and while the sauce was a little bit drier, it was still delicious. You can probably just add some marinara to your leftovers, if you like.
Please visit Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking.
Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.