Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{Freezer Meals} Baked Ziti

I love cooking for the freezer. It is so satisfying to me to know that I am cooking one meal for my family for that night, but will have a magical, ready made meal on a night when I don't have time. or energy. or will power.

Whatever the case might be that night.

OR you could give away the meal to a new mom, or a family that's been sick lately, or to a friend who has been really busy lately! Either way, an extra meal equals encouragement to someone, even if it is you!

Baked Ziti was next on my freezer meal prep meal plan. Baked ziti is one of those meals that seems pretty intuitive to me. After all, it's pretty much like spaghetti. That you bake. And have cheese on top of.

But I'll share anyways, in case you are out of loop on how to Bake Ziti.

The ingredients:

One box of ziti
Two jars of pasta sauce (or you could make your own, I'm taking the lazy man approach)
Parmesan Cheese
4-6 cups of shredded cheese
4-6 finely diced garlic cloves
2 pounds of ground beef
Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Garlic Salt

1.) Bring large pot of water to boil, add plenty of salt (1 tablespoon)
2.) Pour in dry pasta, let boil for 7-9 minutes until nearly done
3.) While that is boiling, saute garlic, and then add ground beef in skillet
4.) Add sauce and spices to taste to garlic and meat, reduce heat  to simmer for 10-15 minutes
5.) Remove pasta from heat, drain water, return pasta to pot
6.)Spoon pasta into two baking dishes
7.) Cover pasta with half of meat sauce into each pan, stir gently
8.) Top pasta and sauce with 2-3 cups of shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese
9.) Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes
 *For freezer meal, Complete steps 1-8, then let cool completely before covering and freezing. Thaw dish when time to serve, and cook for 20 minutes on 375.

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