Baked-Ziti-with-MeatballsIt’s that season again, it may not be here officially…but fall is in the air…I hear it, I smell it, I feel it!  We’re trying to get back in the swing of things, back into the school routine, and we again, need to find meals to make on those busy weeknights. This month I’m focusing on back to school meals and today I am featuring my first recipe in this series. This recipe features homemade meatballs, a delightful amount of gooey cheeses all mixed together with a hearty ziti pasta that will fill up even the hungriest kids on a school night. So let’s get started.
Baked-Ziti-2We will start by mixing up the homemade meatballs.  Mix together 1 pound of ground beef, 2 slices of white bread that have been chopped into small pieces, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.

meatballsNext shape into around 25 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Place the meatballs on baking sheets lined with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the meatballs reach 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. 

uncooked meatballs

While the meatballs are cooking, you can boil 2 1/2 cups of ziti pasta (about 1/2 of a 16 oz. package) according to the package directions.  

pasta

When your meatballs and pasta are finished cooking you can combine them with the large jar of Prego Traditional sauce and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder in a bowl.

cooked meatballs

pasta mixed with sauceAfter you have that mixed together, you can start layering the casserole in a 9″x13″ baking dish.  Layer half of the sauce mixture in the baking dish.

1st layerNow in a bowl mix together a 15 oz. package of ricotta cheese with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and then spread this layer on the sauce layer in your baking dish.

cheese mixed with mozarella 

2nd layerNow top this layer with the remaining sauce layer.

top layerThen cover the top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.

top cheese layerCover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. And then uncover the pan and bake them for an additional 15 minutes.

covering zitiNow you are ready to serve this dish with your favorite garlic bread.  Your family will cheer for this new weeknight favorite. 

incovering ziti after baking

Baled ziti 4

Baked Ziti with Meatballs
A delicious baked pasta dish
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Ingredients
  1. Meatballs
  2. 1 pound of ground beef
  3. 2 slices of white bread that have been chopped into small pieces
  4. 1/4 cup of milk
  5. 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. ------------------------
  9. 2 1/2 cups of ziti pasta (about 1/2 of a 16 oz. package)
  10. 1 large jar of Prego Traditional pasta sauce (2lb. 13 oz. jar that is the bigger jar)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  12. 15 oz. container of Ricotta cheese
  13. 4 cups of mozzarella cheese (2 cups for the middle layer and 2 cups for the top)
Instructions
  1. We will start by mixing up the homemade meatballs. Mix together 1 pound of ground beef, 2 slices of white bread that have been chopped into small pieces, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.
  2. Next shape into around 25 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Place the meatballs on baking sheets lined with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the meatballs reach 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, you can boil 2 1/2 cups of ziti pasta (about 1/2 of a 16 oz. package) according to the package directions.
  4. When your meatballs and pasta are finished cooking you can combine them with the large jar of Prego Traditional sauce and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder in a bowl.
  5. After you have that mixed together, you can start layering the casserole in a 9"x13" baking dish. Layer half of the sauce mixture in the baking dish.
  6. Now in a bowl mix together a 15 oz. package of ricotta cheese with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and then spread this layer on the sauce layer in your baking dish.
  7. Now top this layer with the remaining sauce layer.
  8. Then cover the top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  9. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. And then uncover the pan and bake them for an additional 15 minutes.
Cooking Up Cottage http://www.cookingupcottage.com/

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