Tonight’s dinner - Bree’s Baked Ziti or “Pizza Casserole.”
It’s a very slight variation on my mother’s old recipe. Just a box of rotini pasta, 3 lbs lean ground beef, shredded mozzarella cheese, and a very big jar of Prego pasta sauce.
Boil the pasta and brown the beef. Drain both well. Mix about ¾ of the big jar of sauce with the beef.
In a good-sized foil pan or baking dish, make your layers. First the pasta, with a splash of pasta sauce and a light sprinkling of mozzarella mixed in. Then the beef and the rest of the pasta sauce. Last, evenly coat the top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350F for about 20min, until the cheese is completely melted and browning at the edges. Serve with ricotta cheese and garlic toast.
Serves 4-6, with leftovers. Keeps well in the fridge and is even better the next day!
Pro-tip: You can add sausage, peppers, or pepperoni to spice up the mix, or whatever other pizza toppings you and your guests prefer.
My boy Christian Qatani (aka Krissy Q) sent me this pic of his first ever trip to Emiliano’s up by his hometown of Poughkeepsie. The following is our text conversation about his thoughts on the pizza! Trust me when I say he is a reliable source, he loves Bruce Springsteen more than most New Yorkers.