Finally! The Ultimate Italian Dinner…Part 3 {Main Dish}

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Recipes

Finally, the main dish...this recipe I created myself and I love that it is a great recipe for kids and adults alike...it also makes awesome left overs too!

{Cheesy Baked Ziti}

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Cheesy Baked Ziti {Serves 12}

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef (you can do half italian sausage if desired)
  • 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce 
  • 1/2 cup Honey (this is one of my secret ingredients...please don't tell my dad that I told you the family cooking secret!!)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces Ziti, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  • 8 ounces Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1-½ pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add ground beef/italian sausage and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, honey, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Add heavy whipping cream and sour cream to sauce mixture...remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl and toss with sauce mixture.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy My Friends!!

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