Sharing something so simple today but of course with my own little twist 🙂 So, truth is I don’t liked baked ziti because I like my pastas saucy and baking pasta always seems to dry it out. This ziti is only put in the oven to melt the cheese I put on top 🙂 Using your favorite jarred marinara also makes this a recipe that won’t take you hours in the kitchen.
Vegetarian? You could easily skip the meatballs and add in some great chopped veggies like eggplant and zucchini! This recipe is hearty and satisfying and would be great for a large crowd! The ricotta adds a delicious creaminess to the dish without over powering it but you could also have fun with other cheeses like parmigiano reggiano!
Ziti & Masala Meatballs with Herbed Ricotta
Yield 4 Servings
1/2 box of ziti pasta, cooked al dente
1-2 Jars Rao's Arrabiatta Sauce (or any marinara sauce of your choice)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. ground turkey
3 tbsp garlic minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
3/4 Cup ricotta
1/2 cup scallions
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
- Combine all ingredients for herbed ricotta in a food processor until smooth and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients for ground turkey in a shallow mixing bowl. Using your hands, roll the meat into small meat balls and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Add meatballs (without over crowding the skillet, cook the meatballs in batches if necessary) and cook covered for about 5-6 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until meat balls are no longer pink inside. Be sure to flip the meatballs so they brown on all sides.
- Add pasta to the skillet and add sauce (add as much as you like). Stir well to combine. Add the ricotta- stir well.
- Transfer pasta to oven safe baking dish and top off with mozzarella cheese.
- Place in oven and broil on low to lightly brown and melt the mozzarella.
- Garnish with fresh basil and serve hot!