Bev’s Classic Baked Ziti and Meatballs

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If you live anywhere outside the Northeast, you probably don’t know what Baked Ziti is, and if you do know what it is you probably haven’t had really great Baked Ziti. There are few things I think Italian restaurants do better in the Northeast than anywhere else, and one of those is Baked Ziti.

These recipes come from -s’s Aunt Bev. They are both super tasty, and I served them both at a baby shower I hosted a few years back, and the dishes were very well received.

Be prepared, this makes enough for an army, but it does freeze well.

With -s out of town on business, I needed to make something I knew the kids would eat and would last multiple nights, so I made both the ziti and the meatballs (I did half the meatball recipe, but below is the full recipe). This is a great meatball recipe, because there’s so much less mess. The meatballs are baked (not pan fried), so they are much easier to prepare. We will be having leftovers at the very least for another night or two.

conscientiously Bev’s Baked Ziti:

there Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ziti, penne, or rigatoni
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 24 oz. cottage cheese
  • 16 oz. shredded mozzarella (divided into 2 8oz portions)
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese (can use up to 3/4 c.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 (42 oz) jar of pasta sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water for about 1/2 the time it says on the box (it will finish booking in the oven)
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a big bowl
  3. Stir in pasta
  4. Spread 1/2 of pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan
  5. Put pasta mixture in the pan
  6. Top with the remaining sauce
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350F. Last 10 minutes, remove foil and spread the remaining 8 oz of shredded mozzarella on top.
  8. If you don’t make the accompanying meatball recipe, I’d serve some sauce on the side and your diners can add some additional sauce if they’d like.

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Bev’s Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground meat
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 c. of Parmesan cheese (my addition)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 (24 oz.) jars of your favorite sauce (or however much sauce you like)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and shape into meatballs.
  2. Bake on a cookie sheet at 375F for 25 minutes.
  3. Place meatballs and a jar of your favorite sauce in a crockpot and simmer for as long as you can.
  4. Serve meatballs on the side with the Baked Ziti and spoon additional sauce over the ziti-if you’d like.

Baked Ziti:

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Meatballs:

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