Experientialist: a collector of experiences, especially one-of-a-kind.

Comfort Food Recipe – Baked Ziti

All of a sudden this has become my most popular post.  Go figure – I didn’t think anything would beat Top 5 Erotic Songs, but then again it is food and, well, um, you get the idea!

This is an incredible recipe given to me by my friends Laura & Chris.  (I was reading an old Sunset cook book on Italian cooking last night and guess what I found?  This recipe!  Can’t go wrong with something from Sunset.)  Get the tastiest ground beef you can – it makes a BIG difference!

Baked Ziti
Makes 8-10 servings


2 Tbl. butter or margarine
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1/4 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, mined or pressed
1 can  (about 1lb) tomato puree
1 large can (1lb. 12oz.) Italian style tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teas. salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 teas. oregano leaves
1/4 teas. pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley

To make sauce, place butter and oil in a 5 to 6-quart pan over medium heat.  When butter is melted, add onion and mushrooms and cook until onion is soft.  Mix in garlic, tomato puree, tomatoes (break up with a spoon) and their liquid, wine, salt, bay leaf, oregano, pepper, and parsley; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 5 cups (about 1 1/2 hours).  Remove bay leaf.


2 Tbl butter or margarine
1 Tbl oil – preferably olive
1 Med. onion, finely chopped
1 egg
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1 1/2 tea. salt
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1/2 cup sauce (preceding)
Dash of pepper & nutmeg

To make meatballs, place 1/2 Tbl. each of the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  When butter is melted, add onion & cook until onion is lightly browned; transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.  Beat in egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and the 1/2 cup sauce.  Add ground beef and mix lightly to blend well.  Shape into 1 inch meatballs.  In same pan in which the onions were cooked in, heat remaining  1 1/2 Tbl butter and 1/2 Tbl oil over medium heat.  When butter is melted, brown meatballs, about half at a time.  Remove when browned and add to sauce.


1 package (1 lb) ziti or mostaccioli
Salted water
1 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook ziti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain well and combine with meatball mixture.  Spread mixture into a shallow 4-quart casserole.  Cover evenly with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350 oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Don’t forget the red wine & garlic bread!



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2 comments on “Comfort Food Recipe – Baked Ziti

  1. Piper George
    October 4, 2013

    A bit random, but i hope you will play cos I nominated you for a Sunshine Award

    • knowledgeknut
      October 4, 2013

      Piper – you are such a doll! I love this new award and I will most definitely participate! Love the Q’s!


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This entry was posted on September 27, 2013 by in Cooking & Recipes and tagged , , , , .
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