Baked Ziti Casserole
October 16, 2011
Categories: Comfort Food, Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish, Casseroles, Sauce, Tomato/Red Sauces, Beef, Ground Beef, Pasta, Ziti, Italian, North American, Budget-Friendly, Cooking For A Crowd, Kid Pleaser, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Father's Day, Game/Sports Day, Potluck, Summer, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Oven Bake, Stove Top, Canned Tomatoes more
"Baked ziti at its best. I use low carb pasta to make it easier for diabetics to enjoy but you can certainly use whatever you enjoy. See note on bottom of directions if you don't want to use heavy cream, as you can substitute milk. This is a great casserole. Don't be intimidated by all the steps and ingredients, it comes together rather quickly."
- Serving Size: 1 (423 g)
- Calories 692.1
- Total Fat - 32.5 g
- Saturated Fat - 14.5 g
- Cholesterol - 160.4 mg
- Sodium - 2041.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 58.7 g
- Dietary Fiber - 8.7 g
- Sugars - 8.6 g
- Protein - 42.9 g
- Calcium - 550.1 mg
- Iron - 3.9 mg
- Vitamin C - 16 mg
- Thiamin - 0.3 mg
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside.
Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander (do not wash dutch oven).
Meanwhile, brown ground hamburger with diced onion, set aside.
Heat oil and garlic in 12 inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, and browned hamburger, simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup basil and the sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl; transfer mixture to now-empty dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of your tomato sauce mixture, and 3/4 cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
Transfer pasta mixture to a prepared 9x13 baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer.
NOTE: If you don't have heavy cream, whole milk can be substituted by increasing the amount of cornstarch to 2 teaspoons and increasing the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes. Avoid pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, as it does not melt well.
Tips & Variations
No special items needed.