Friday, October 2, 2015

Hells Kitchen Baked Ziti

Hells Kitchen Baked Ziti... 

OK guys, this dish is seriously delicious! You will get asked by even the pickiest eaters to make this dish over and over. It is amazing served with a cool, crisp green salad and some warm garlic bread. It reheats perfectly too. So let's just get into it.

What you will need:

1 16oz package of ziti pasta
1 1/2 lbs of ground, spicy Italian sausage
1 15oz container of ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 large yellow onion chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp of Doc Meyers Pepper Shake
2 jars of your favorite marinara
16 oz of shredded mozzarella ( Do not use packaged, pre-shredded cheese)
2 tsp of dried basil

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add ziti. Cook 8 minutes. Pasta will not be completely done. While the pasta is cooking, brown the Italian sausage and onion in pan and drain. Set aside. In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, garlic, oregano, and Doc Meyers Pepper Shake. When smooth, add in sausage, pasta, and 1/2 jar of marinara.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Add 1/2 jar or marinara to the bottom of the dish. Pour in half of the pasta and sausage mixture and press down slightly. Pour 1/2 jar of marinara and sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella. Press that down slightly and pour the remainder of the pasta mixture into the pan. Add the last 1/2 jar of marinara sauce and the rest of the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the top with 2tsp of dried basil and cover with foil.

Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove foil from dish and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.

Tips: This is a spicy dish and any leftovers will actually be spicier the next day. Also, this recipe makes a lot and it freezes nicely.

Tweaks: You can use andouille sausage or mild Italian sausage if you would like.  However, ground beef makes the dish quite flavorless..

This dish is so perfect for a cold fall evening. I hope you enjoy!!! Until next time, happy cooking!! ;o)

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