Sometimes I fear my husband was severely deprived from some really good food growing up. When I announced that I had found a ziti recipe during my Blogger's Choice swap, he said, "What's ziti?". I was surprised that he didn't know what the delicious cheesy dish was, so I threw it on our menu plan for the next week to prove to him that it was super delicious.
Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey
adapted from DeLish
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder1 lb. (16 oz.) ziti or ziti rigati
3 cups tomato sauce
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup fresh Basil, chiffonade
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9" baking pan.
2) Brown turkey in skillet, seasoning with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
3) While the meat is browning, cook the pasta very al dente. Drain.
4) In a large bowl, mix in a tiny bit of the sauce with the noodles & set aside.
5) In a separate bowl, stir together remaining sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, basil salt and pepper.
6) Fold the sauce mixture completely into the pasta.
7) Poor into the greased baking pan. Top with remaining cup of shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly & browned.
While I loved this dish, a 9 by 13 pan makes a TON of ziti. It fed us 2 dinners each and multiple lunches, so if you have a small family, I'd cut it in half and make an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan instead.
My husband loved how this smelled in the oven. He kept asking if it was done and ready to eat because he said it smelled so good. At my grocery store, I could only find a tube of basil, and used a quarter of a cup of that, and the basil definitely was a prominent flavor. If you're using the tube, I'd reduce it to 1/8 of a cup instead. This dish turned out exactly like I was hoping though, and brought back many memories of my childhood. It is such a great comfort dish. You could definitely omit the meat (like DeLish did) to make it vegetarian as well, it would still be very flavorful.