Skillet Baked Ziti
You may be wondering why I’m digging the skillet dinners. Well, they’re fast!!! I work full time and have two toddlers and traffic seems to only get worse these days. I’ve discovered slow cooked luxury in 35 minutes or less. We live in a chaotic world but our meals don’t need to suffer. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did, it’ll definitely become a regular on our dinner table. Oh, and left overs are fabulous for lunch the next day 🙂
400 – 450 g extra lean ground beef
1 Medium onion, sliced into sticks
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
½ Cup white wine (or red)
680 ml jar of passata (strained tomatoes)
2 Cups sodium-reduced beef stock
A small handful each of parsley and basil, chopped
½ tsp salt, plus more
¼ tsp pepper, plus more
3 ½ Cups (dried) Rigatoni noodles (uncooked)
1 Cup Light Ricotta cheese
125 g Part skim mozzarella, grated
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Place a large ovenproof skillet (ideally a cast iron skillet) over high heat and when it’s hot add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Break the beef up using a wooden spoon.
Once cooked, drain the excess fat from the pan (using a sieve) and then return the beef to the pan.
Add the onions and again, season with some salt and pepper.
Sauté for 5-7 minutes (until onions are softened) and then add the garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds, careful not to let the garlic burn.
Turn the heat up to high and add the wine, scape the bottom of the pan to release any flavours (deglazing).
After the wine has cooked out (about 30 seconds to a minute), turn the heat down to medium and add the passata.
Pour the beef stock into the empty jar of tomatoes and swish it around to release any of the tomato that may be remaining and add it to the pan; stir well.
Add fresh herbs, the ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper; mix well.
Add the noodles ensuring they’re covered by the sauce (which is really thin at this point).
Bring the pan to a boil and then drop heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Dollop in the ricotta, in even spaces when the noodles are tender.
Top with the mozzarella and then the parmesan.
Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is slightly darkened.
- You can use stock in place of wine!
- Feel free to use any meat of your choosing in place of the beef.