Sunday, January 18, 2009

Southwest Baked Ziti

• 1 pound ziti noodles
• 1 pound ground beef, cooked through
• 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with seasonings (green pepper and onion or garlic and oregano, or any flavor you want)
• 1 cup yellow or white corn
• ½ cup sliced black olives
• 2 teaspoons dried thyme
• 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
• 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
• 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese, reserve 1 cup, for topping
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat ground beef in a hot skillet over medium. Add tomatoes, corn, olives, thyme and rosemary and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and garlic powder and mix well. Spoon 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish. Top with half of the cooked ziti. Top with half of the cheese mixture. Top with 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Repeat layers (remaining ziti and remaining cheese mixture). Top with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese over top. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly.

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