Best Baked Ziti Ever :
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion , diced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Pour olive oil into a large, deep skillet, over medium-high heat. Add in ground beef and brown, 5 minutes. Add in diced onions, and mushrooms (optional). Saute for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are soft and translucent, and ground beef is cooked through.
- Add in garlic and tomato paste and toast for 2 minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until pasta is ready.
- Cook pasta in boiling water, according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the cheese topping in a small mixing bowl by combining cream cheese, ricotta, and parmesan. Mix together until smooth.
- Once the pasta is done, add it into the meat sauce and stir to combine. Pour it into a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Spread cheese mixture on top of the pasta.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.