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Monday, June 13, 2011

Baked Ziti

When a good friend of mine has a baby, loses a loved one, falls ill, moves, or otherwise is in need of an extra hand, the first thing that comes to mind is, "let me make you dinner!" I'm not sure why food is ingrained in my mind as the solution to any guess is that it is my mom's influence (she's the same way - show someone you care with a big ol' casserole or dish of pasta!). Regardless, all of the people in my life know that when the going gets tough, Erica gets cooking :)

When a new, but dear pal suffered with some health issues, I insisted on bringing her and her men some food (she's married with two of the kindest, most respectful sons I've ever met). Rachele is a wonderfully special person to me and has, on several occasions, made me realize how much more capable of things I really am. Food still doesn't seem like enough, but it's what I do.

I decided to put together my baked ziti and tossed in some salad, garlic crescent rolls and an Oreo pudding pie. I'm not gonna lie - I *almost* "forgot" that pie when I went to her place ;-) It looked SO good! Sorry to my veggie friends...this is definitely not a recipe I can adapt and still give the same effect. The meat is what makes it!

Baked Ziti
1 lb ziti noodles
1 lb ground sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
3 cups mozzarella cheese
3 cups marinara/spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cook ziti in boiling water; drain.
  3. Brown meats; drain off fat.
  4. In a large baking dish, layer ziti, meat, cheese and sauce; repeat until everything has been used.
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake about 30 - 40 minutes until bubbly.

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