Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Greek Baked Ziti

As far as pasta casseroles go, this Southern Living recipe seemed pretty nutritionally harmless.  It's made with lean ground beef and a reasonable amount of dairy.  I tweaked it a bit to make it slightly more healthy.  The ingredient list may look a bit daunting below, but most of these items you will already have in your pantry (or can very easily get them from the store).


Recipe Notes
For the milk, I used 2%.  You should be able to use skim as a substitute without issue.  The original recipe calls for a very large amount of the milk/cheese mixture.  I halved this portion in my version and didn't miss any of the milk, butter, and cheese that we did not use.  I did not use the entire 8 oz. package of mozzarella indicated below.  I used between 4-6 oz. for my dish.

  • 12 oz ziti pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 15-oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 1-1/2 c. milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. package shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 c. fine dry breadcrumbs
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Saute onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until tender (4-5 minutes).  Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.
3.  Add beef, stirring occasionally, and cook 5 minutes or until crumbled and browned.
4.  Drain mixture and return to the skillet.
5.  Stir in tomato sauce, lemon juice, oregano, sugar, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
6.  Cook and stir occasionally for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
7.  Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in flour and cook, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes.  Gradually whisk in milk.
8.  Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
9.  Stir in Parmesan cheese, pepper, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.
10.  Add cooked ziti pasta to cheese sauce mixture, stirring to coat.
11.  Transfer pasta mixture to a lightly-greased 9x13 glass baking dish.  Top with beef mixture.
12.  Sprinkle mozarella cheese and breadcrumbs on top of beef mixture.
13.  Bake a 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.  (Cheese will be melted.)
14.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Magazine note: this dish may be fixed ahead and frozen (unbaked) for a future meal.  If frozen, let stand 30 minutes before baking, and add 15-20 minutes to the baking time in the oven.

No comments:

Post a Comment