There is so much right with using a pre-made pasta sauce and doctoring it up with more garlic and aromatics. If you don’t have a lot of time to let a red sauce simmer, popping open some ragu and letting it mingle with some chopped garlic, onion, ground beef and herbs, is a really good idea. If you’re like JaQuan and know how to make it really good, you add a little sugar.
Growing up, my best friend’s Italian American grandma used to make her pasta sauce this way. Adding a little sugar makes for a totally delish and indulgent pasta sauce. Eating it for lunch really brought me back to elementary school and made me smile. It’s sweet, tomato-y, and beefy.
JaQuan’s baked Ziti was a true hit in the factory. Also, like, everyone is out-of-office on vacation this week, so those of us holding down the fort got major second helpings— a blessing. Baked in a big tray with bubbling mozzarella and ricotta on top, it was hearty and filling. He says that he makes this a lot for his lady and his mother, and that it’s one of their faves. Not surprised, it’s a solid dish.
JaQuan's Baked Ziti
- 3 cloves of garlic
- one onion
- 2 sbp. oil
- 1 package of ground beef
- 1 jar of pasta sauce (JaQuan uses Ragu)
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 1 box ziti
- Herb seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In sauce pot, sautee garlic and onions in oil. Add beef and brown.
- Season with salt, sugar and herbs, then add pre-made pasta sauce. Let simmer.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Boil according to the box and then a few minutes less! Drain once done.
- In an 8x8 baking tray, spoon down one layer of sauce, one layer of pasta and one layer of cheese. Repeat until finished!
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and browns.