Cheesy Baked Ziti and Mini Meatballs
Serving Size / Yield
- 1/3 lb. ground beef
- 1/3 lb. ground veal
- 1/3 lb. ground pork
- 1/2 C. breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 3 Tbs. parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbs. red chile flakes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbs. oil
- 1 lb. ziti pasta
- 5 C. pasta sauce
- 1 C. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 8 oz. ricotta
- 8 oz. mozzarella, diced
To make the meatballs, combine the meats, breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley, red chile flakes, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix them together and shape into small grape-sized meatballs.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. In batches, add the meatballs to the skillet and brown on all sides. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3 1/2 qt. baking dish and set it aside.
Prepare the ziti according to package directions for al dente, drain, and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with 3 C. pasta sauce and the meatballs.
Pour half the ziti and meatballs into the greased baking dish. Spread the ricotta on top of the ziti and sprinkle with half the died mozzarella and another cup of the pasta sauce and half the Parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining ziti and meatballs. Top with the remaining mozzarella, pasta sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.