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Greek Baked Ziti

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  • Greek Baked Ziti

    Greek Baked Ziti
    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    I made a half recipe, amounts in parentheses.

    12 ounces ziti pasta (6 oz)
    1 small yellow onion, chopped (no change)
    1 tablespoon olive oil (1-1/2 tsp)
    2 garlic cloves, minced (no change)
    1 ˝ pounds lean ground beef (3/4 pound)
    2 (15-oz.) cans tomato sauce (1-15 oz can)
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1-1/2 tsp)
    1 ˝ teaspoons dried oregano (3/4 tsp)
    1 teaspoon sugar (1/2 tsp)
    ˝ teaspoon ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp)
    1 ˝ teaspoons kosher salt, divided (3/4 tsp)
    3 tablespoons butter (1-1/2 Tbsp)
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (1-1/2 Tbsp)
    3 cups milk (1-1/2 cups)
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
    ˝ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (1/4 tsp)
    Vegetable cooking spray
    1 (8-oz.) package shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
    ⅓ cup fine, dry breadcrumbs (2-1/2 Tbsp)


    Step 1
    Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta in a Dutch oven according to package directions.

    Step 2
    Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in large skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain mixture, and return to skillet.

    Step 3
    Stir tomato sauce, next 4 ingredients, and 1 tsp. salt into meat mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Step 4
    Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese, pepper, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Add sauce to pasta, stirring to coat.

    Step 5
    Transfer pasta mixture to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with beef mixture, mozzarella cheese, and breadcrumbs.

    Step 6
    Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    Step 7
    MAKE IT AHEAD Fix and freeze this dish (unbaked) for a hands-off dinner. Let it stand 30 minutes before baking, and add 15 to 20 minutes in the oven.

    Charlene’s notes 10-14-2022: This is so good! I made a half recipe but didn’t make any other changes to it.