Classic Baked Ziti
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef, casings removed
  • two 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked al dente and drained
  • ¾ pound mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • ⅔ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente,about 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse under cold water, and set aside. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Rinse under cool water, and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then coat with olive oil. Add the onions and simmer about five minutes, then add the garlic and cook a minute or two more. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt, then the ground beef, cooking 6-8 minutes, or until it has lost all its redness.
  4. Add tomatoes, stirring to combine, and cook for five to ten minutes, pressing with the back of a spoon to help crush the tomatoes and break up any overly large chunks of meat. Adjust seasonings as needed, and simmer until it has a saucy consistency. Add some of the reserved pasta liquid if it gets too dry, too fast. and stir to combine. Stir in drained pasta, mixing well.
  5. Pour half of pasta mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of each cheese, then pour in the remaining pasta, and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes.
Recipe by Sprung At Last at