Mum’s Baked Ziti

My mother is very big influence in my cooking and probably always will be. She got me involved in the kitchen at a very young age and taught me a great foundation of culinary tricks that I still use to this day. Since fall is upon us like a vengeance with cool and breezy nights, I’ve been desperate for some of my mother’s classic dishes but she lives 1200 miles away (wahhhaaaa). She use to make this baked ziti (before she was a little more health conscious) that just oozed cheesy goodness that could warm up any chilly fall night. The other day I decided I was going to treat myself with a decadent meal that would make me feel like I was back home and with my mother’s home cooking.

Of course, I had to add my own spin on her classic recipe. She never made her own tomato sauce (always from a jar – don’t judge she was a busy lady) and she was kind of shy with spices. I hope you enjoy this family friendly classic that can satisfy a crowd or provide left overs for a couple for days. 😉

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prepare your veggies

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saute until softened

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Ahhh….the meat!

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cheese makes anything better!

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add the cheeses and the egg

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for the spices!!

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oooh sweet, dried basil. it makes anything italian!

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make sure your meat browns up nicely

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add the crushed tomatoes & tomato paste

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cover the sauce and let it do it’s thing for 15 minutes

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add some sauce to your cheese and pasta mixture

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spread into oven safe baking dish

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top with the remaining meat sauce

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generously top with your favorite italian cheeses

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pop into a 400 degree oven until it looks like this!! 😛

Here’s the full recipe :

Recipe card (with instructions)

 

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I hope you enjoy!!

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