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Video:How to Make Baked Ziti with Ground Beef

with Gina Miller

Baked Ziti with ground beef is basically an Italian casserole and a classic recipe. With melted cheese, hearty beef, and a delicious tomato sauce, this baked ziti could be a new family favorite.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Baked Ziti with Ground Beef

Hi, I am Gina Miller with About.com food and today I’m making one of my family’s Italian favorites, baked ziti with ground beef. This is basically an Italian casserole, but it’s so easy to make and easy to serve. And it has simply divine flavors.

Here are the Ingredients You'll Need for Baked Zita With Ground Beef:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese mixture (made of 1 part mozzarella, 1 part provolone, 1 part parmesan cheese)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine or water
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 box of Ziti shaped pasta
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes which is optional
  • Salt and Pepper

First, Make the Ground Beef Tomato Sauce

Now lets make the ground beef sauce for the baked ziti. In a pan coated with olive oil, brown the meat, onions, shallots, garlic, seasonings, salt, pepper, and the optional red pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is brown and the onions are transparent. Add the tomato paste and brown for 1 more minute. Add in the tomato sauce, sugar, the wine or water and stir. Let the meat sauce simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

A tip: Making the sauce the day before is always best, this allows all the flavors to become much more enhanced.

Cook the Ziti and Combine with the Meat Sauce and Cheese

Now let’s prepare the ziti. In a large pot, boil the ziti pasta in salted water until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Today we’ll be cooking the pasta for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Now after the sauce has simmered for an hour, carefully fold in the cooked ziti. Add 1 and 2/3 cups of the cheese mixture into meat sauce reserving 1/3 cup of cheese for later. It may be helpful to use two large spoons.

Pour the Ziti into a Casserole Dish and Bake

Grease a 2 quart baking dish and Pre-Heat the oven to 350º F. After the cheese and ziti pasta are completely incorporated into the meat sauce, pour all of the ingredients into the baking dish. Cover with foil and place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the baking dish, and foil and add the 1/3 cup of the remaining cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly brown.

Serve with a green salad, or your favorite vegetable, and hot crusty Italian rolls. This dish also pairs nicely with a robust Chianti or a Merlot Red wine and serves 6 people. Thank you for watching and for more information, visit us on the web at About.com.
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