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Recipe Swap: Baked Ziti with Bolognese

The latest swap was Blogger's Choice, and my assigned blog was DeLish. If that sounds familiar, it's because I made her potato pancakes late last year for a holiday-dishes-themed swap. 

I perused her blog, and found a recipe called Ziti for Two Made with Bolognese. It sounded perfect, not only because it's just The Mister and I, but because I had recently made a large batch of my favorite Bolognese sauce to freeze in 2-serving portions. It makes for easy mid-week meals to defrost and serve over pasta. 

Bolognese is a sauce that originated in Bologna, Italy, and is made with tomatoes and ground meat (usually beef or pork). I typically make mine with ground beef, but sometimes (if there's a good sale), I will use a mixture of ground beef, lamb, and/or pork. I also add fire-roasted red bell peppers, fresh basil, and a LOT of garlic to my sauce. When combined with the mascarpone, mozzarella and parmesan in the baked ziti dish, it becomes a thick, flavorful, cheesy sauce. 

I've written out the recipe for my bolognese sauce below the baked ziti recipe, but feel free to substitute your own favorite Bolognese sauce. Serve with a side salad and a loaf of crusty Italian bread. 

Baked Ziti
Adapted from DeLish

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces ziti, cooked to al dente (see package directions)
  • 1 ½ cups Bolognese sauce, warmed (see below or use your preferred recipe)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine warm Bolognese sauce, mascarpone cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Add the cooked ziti and toss to coat. 
  3. Spread the mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. 
  4. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and brown on top. 

Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 14 to 16 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, no salt added, with juices
  • 12 ounce jar fire-roasted red bell peppers, with juices
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oregano
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chiffonade
Directions
  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef. Drain the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons, and set the meat aside. Wipe out the pot. 
  2. Add the reserved fat back into the pot, and saute the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent, about two minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. 
  3. Combine the tomatoes and the roasted red peppers in a bowl, and puree with an immersion blender. Add them to the pot along with the reserved ground meat. Season to taste with salt, pepper and oregano. Gently stir in the basil. 
  4. Let simmer for 90 minutes. If freezing, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Divide into 4 to 6 portions, pour into freezer storage bag, and label with the date and contents. 

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Lishie

Saturday 28th of July 2012

You picked a good one! Glad you enjoyed it!

katie

Friday 27th of July 2012

This looks so good, how can you go wrong with all that cheese!

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles

Friday 27th of July 2012

I have never seen ziti made from bolognese sauce but makes perfect sense! Looks delicious!

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