A few weeks ago I woke up and got ready to go to work like any other day.
I went to grab an english muffin out of the freezer to defrost and toast and realized EVERYTHING was melting.
So I quickly moved everything to a cooler and waited for the repair man.
As I was cleaning out the freezer I decided to defrost some ground beef that had been in there. I didn’t feel like making meatballs so I decided on a baked ziti.
In my cast iron skillet. Yay 🙂
Skillet Baked Ziti
- 1lb penne pasta
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of fresh minced basil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15oz container skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
- 1/2 of lemon, for juice and zest
Preheat your oven to 350 F.[br][br]
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and cook until translucent, approx 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the ground beef. Break up with a wooden spoon while cooking until browned, approx 7 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes, basil, crushed red pepper and cinnamon. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Use the wooden spoon to gently break up the tomatoes as the sauce simmers.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- While the sauce is simmering bring another pot of water to a boil. Cook penne pasta for 3 minutes under the package directions (it will finish cooking in the oven).
- Combine ricotta, beaten egg, mozzarella cheese, lemon juice and zest from 1/2 of lemon. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a cast iron skillet (or a regular casserole dish) cover the bottom with a small ladle of sauce. Put a few dollops of the ricotta mixture over the sauce.
- Drain the pasta and add to the remaining sauce. Mix well.
- Layer the pasta/sauce mixture and more dollops of ricotta in the skillet.
- Top with extra shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove tin foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.