Baked Ziti and Bubble Bread

Campus has been quiet the past several weeks. Students (for the most part) have been gone on break and we have been here working. Mostly, January is a time to catch up on projects, spend time getting some meetings out-of-the-way, and prepare for the start of the semester. With students returning, this has kicked into high gear in several ways. The last three days have been spent in meetings almost back-to-back.

What does this have to do with cooking? Well, yesterday we were having lunch when it suddenly occurred to me…we haven’t done any cooking with the oven we have access to when students are gone. I imagine this is for a couple of reasons… 1. We forgot we could use the oven…we tend to remember in the summer, but forget over breaks. 2. People were pretty sporadically around over break.

But, with today being the last day before the students returned, I wanted to make something delicious. So, today, I share with you, Baked Ziti. Because I still love the crockpot, I make it that way. I’ve done it with both crockpot and oven, and both work well. Crockpot just works easier for me. To use the oven downstairs, I’m making Bubble Bread! Delicious.

Baked Ziti

1 pound dry ziti pasta

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork sausage

1 1/2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

salt to taste

1 (6 ounce) package provolone cheese, sliced

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup cottage cheese

1 (6 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until tender. Stir in rosemary and garlic. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Place ground beef and sausage in the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Stir in the onion mixture and the spaghetti sauce. Season with salt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In the prepared dish, layer 1/2 of the cooked pasta, provolone cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and a little less than 1/2 of the meat mixture. Then layer the rest of the pasta, mozzarella cheese, remaining meat mixture, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through and cheeses are melted.

*If making in crockpot, proceed through step 3. In step 4, layer in crockpot as directed. When mixing up this morning, I put the crockpot on warm when I got to work and will turn it up to low for the last two hours. It’s all pre-cooked, so it just needs to heat through.

Bubble Bread

1 loaf frozen bread dough

1 stick butter

2 tsp Italian seasoning

Thaw frozen bread dough, but don’t let it rise. Melt butter and mix in Italian seasoning. Cut bread dough into bite-size pieces and then dip in butter mixture. Place in the bottom of a bread pan (I’m using a bundt pan today) and let rise for a few hours. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

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