I prepared this recently and it made the house smell divine and it was devoured at dinner.
Easy Meaty Ziti (with Spinach)
Don’t forget to defrost your 9 oz package of frozen, creamed spinach. I always hate to get to the middle of the recipe and realize that something was to be defrosted already!!!
Boil water in a large pot to cook 8 oz ziti to al dente
- once water is boiling, add ziti and cook it half-way (for me that is about 6 minutes)
- drain once it is done
Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the lumps:
- 1 lb ground beef
Stir into the beef just before it finishes browning:
- 2 to 4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
Stir into the meat
- 1 large (24-26 oz) jar of marinara sauce
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
Spoon 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass/ceramic pan.
Arrange on top of the sauce in an even layer:
- 8 oz ziti (you have already prepped this)
Pour remaining meat sauce over the ziti
Spread evenly over the top:
- 9 oz package of creamed spinach
Make sure all the ziti is covered and happy in the sauce.
Cover the baking dish with foil
(You can make this dish 1 day ahead up to this point and then just refrigerate it until you are ready to bake)
Bake at 375, covered for about 30-45 minutes. (I usually do close to 45)
Remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully remove the foil.
Scatter over the top of the ziti:
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend
Recover with foil (spray it with cooking spray if you are afraid the foil will stick to the cheese)
Bake for about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let it rest until all the cheese has melted…about 5 minutes more.
Serve it nice and hot!