Tag Archives: Ricotta

Baked Ziti

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm….that’s all I’m gonna say about baked ziti. I love baked ziti and the creaminess, the sauce, the meat mixture….Oh my! I have had this recipe for years but I don’t make it very often. Josh and I happened to be cleaning out my “recipe drawer” and found it again! I was so happy that I could have cried, but that would have led Josh into asking me why I was getting emotional, and it would just start a whole different kind of conversation, come to think of it… it’s kinda like what I’m doing now haha!

Well, back at the ranch, we didn’t change anything in this recipe because it was perfectly enjoyed without any changes….We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Makes:  6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

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6 ounces uncooked ziti

1 pound ground beef or ground italian sausage

1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese

2 1/2 cups (10 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef (or sausage) over medium heat until no longer pink; drain (if needed)…..

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Stir in marinara sauce…..

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Stir and let simmer for about 5 minutes…..

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In a large bowl, combine eggs, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, mix well…..

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Drain pasta; add to cheese mixture and stir until blended….

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Spoon 1/3 of the meat sauce into a greased 11 x 7 baking dish…..

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Top with half of the pasta mixture…..

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Repeat layers. Top with remaining meat sauce…..

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Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for another 10 minutes ot until cheese is slightly browned and melted…..

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Let stand 15 minutes or so before serving!

Lasagna Soup

I love soup! I love soup! I love…..I know, I’ve made myself clear that I LOVE SOUP! I also love lasagna and why not find a recipe that compliments both? I found 2 recipes of this soup and sort of made my own rendition. It is full of aroma and it will definitely change your thought process of the way comfort food is presented. The way that Josh and I served up this soup was to scoop a spoonful of a ricotta mixture into the bowl and then ladle the soup on top! It was fantastic! I found the idea for this recipe from www.tasteofhome.com and on Pinterest. Please enjoy and as always….feedback is welcome! Enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 tsp olive oil

1 1/2 pounds italian sausage (or ground beef, depends on preference)

1 1/2 c chopped red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 (14 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

6 c. chicken stock

8 oz. fusilli pasta or cavatappi pasta

1/2 c. finely chopped basil leaves (optional) or 2 tsp dried basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and brown for about 7-10 minutes…

Add red onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes…

Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute…

Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate into sausage mixture…

Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tomato paste turns to a reddish-brown color…

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine…

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, let simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for too long. Pasta will get mushy and soak up all the broth.

While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the ricotta mixture (as follows):

Here’s what you’ll need:

8 oz ricotta cheese

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of black pepper

1/4 c mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended…

To serve this glorious soup, dollop a spoonful of ricotta mixture in the bottom of your bowl…

Ladle the hot soup on top of the ricotta mixture, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Italian Blend) and a sprinkle of parsley…

Voila! Lasagna Soup served over a ricotta cheese mixture!

Lasagna

I love lasagna! It is a very highly rated comfort food for me and I love making my own sauce, however, if I am running out of time I use Barilla sauce and add a few ingredients to it. Hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Makes: 12 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 box (9 oz.) No-Boil Lasagna Noodles

2 Eggs

1 Container (15 oz.) Ricotta Cheese

4 Cups (16 oz.) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)

1/2 Cup (2 oz.) Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 lb. Italian Sausage or Ground Beef (bulk) (cook, crumble and drain)

2 Jars of Marinara Sauce or (homemade spaghetti sauce)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375, spray baking dish (13x9x3) with non-stick spray, remove noodles (approx. 16) sheets from box DO NOT BOIL!! In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, stir in ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. (If you plan on using a 2″ deep pan, you may want to only do 2-3 layers to avoid boil over….I also use butter around the edges of the dish after assembling, this also helps from boil overs).

When layering, you can slightly overlap the sheets because the lasagna will expand during baking. Assemble:

  1. spread 1 cup of sauce on bottom of dish
  2. layer 4 uncooked sheets, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/2 browned meat, 1 cup of mozzarella, and 1 cup of sauce.
  3. layer 4 more sheets, 1/3 ricotta mixture, and 1 1/2 cups of sauce
  4. layer 4 more sheets, 1/3 ricotta mixture, browned meat, and 1 cup of sauce
  5. layer the last of the sheets, the remaining sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese

Bake, covered with foil until bubbly approx 50-60 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until cheese is slightly browned and melted about 5 minutes.

This recipe makes 12 servings….very delish!

I also use cottage cheese in place of ricotta, but I prefer the texture of ricotta (very smooth and easy on the palate).

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