The Cure for a Cold Day

It was pretty cold in San Diego this last weekend and when I say cold I mean in the fifties lol. I know, I know we are wimps, but it's San Diego! I'm not complaining though... I love this crisp weather!

Anyways, I wanted to make something filling and hearty for the four of us (Lauren and Chase were in town). I chose the Pioneer Woman's Baked Ziti and holy moly it was good! At our house, we rarely eat pasta as a main dish but when we do, we go all out. Unfortunately, I don't have any great pics, just this one taken on my phone. I didn't plan on sharing the recipe but I had a few requests, so here we go!

Cheesy goodness!


2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
One 28- ounce can whole tomatoes
One 24.5- ounce jar marinara sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound (16 ounces) ziti
One 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
1 1/2 pound mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of minced parsley


1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sausage, and ground beef and cook until the meat is totally browned. Drain off and discard the fat.

2. Add the tomatoes, marinara, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir to combine, then simmer the sauce for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Place the pasta in a large bowl and ladle in 3 cups of the sauce mixture. Then toss to coat the noodles, and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, the Parmesan, egg, parsley, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir the mixture together until combined.

5. Toss the cheese mixture in with the sauce and pasta mixture. Do not over mix... you want some big chunks of cheese.

6. Add half the pasta mixture to a large casserole dish. Spoon half the remaining sauce on top. Then top with mozzarella. Repeat with another round of pasta, sauce, and mozzarella. **At this point you can cover and freeze if you want to bake it another day. To cook when frozen put it into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I served our baked ziti with a spinach and arugula salad. YUM!! Enjoy!


  1. I am such a visual person, so I love her cook book with the different steps along the way!!!!! Pasta is on repeat at our house a lot and I think I might make this tomorrow night because it is supposed to be cold and rainy, woof!

    1. Also, you're still a no-reply blogger so I can't reply back if you comment on my blog!!!! So don't think that I'm ignoring you :) Here is how to fix it!

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