Baked Ziti and Meatballs

Homemade meatballs make this Baked Ziti a crowd pleaser.

Baked Ziti and Meatballs
Makes 6 servings
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Meatballs
  1. 1 pound lean ground beef
  2. ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  3. ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  4. ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  5. ¼ cup whole milk
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  8. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  9. ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  10. 2 tablespoons olive oil
Sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  3. ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  4. ¾ cup dry white wine
  5. 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  6. 2 sprigs fresh basil
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. ½ teaspoon sugar
  9. 1 pound ziti pasta, cooked according to package directions
  10. 3 cups sliced low-moisture mozzarella, divided
  11. ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  12. ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. For meatballs: In a large bowl, stir together beef, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, milk, eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shape beef mixture into 12 balls.
  2. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs to skillet; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove meatballs from skillet; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. For sauce: In same skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add wine. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard basil.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta, 1½ cups mozzarella, and cooked meatballs. Top with remaining 1½ cups mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan.
  5. Bake until cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Taste of the South http://www.tasteofthesouthmagazine.com/

 Find more great recipes like this one in Southern Cast Iron’s Winter 2017 issue!

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