Baked Ziti

It’s been nice and chilly here in Vegas for the last few days (you can’t even really call it cold) and because I know these days are limited I’ve been pulling out my dinner recipes that require the use of an oven. I do baked meals during the hot months too, of course, but even then I tend to put them in our (very awesome) toaster oven to bake rather than fire up the big one. A hot kitchen in the middle of a Vegas summer is miserable indeed.

Anyway, this baked ziti is one meal that I haven’t made in a while — in fact, it’s apparently been so long that my grocery store no longer even carries ziti, and I had to use rigatoni instead. Penne would work really well too, depending on what you can get.

Baked Ziti

1 pound dry ziti or penne pasta
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce (or equivalent homemade sauce)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook about 8 minutes; drain.

In a large skillet, brown onion, garlic and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.

Butter or spray a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the pasta, 1/2 the mozzarella, all the sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.

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