Sunday, January 19, 2014

Baked Ziti-Rito

Ragú recently asked me if I wanted to put my spin on one of their recipes.  Of course I was up for it!!  I picked their Ragú No Boiling Baked Ziti to jazz up.  I wanted to do something not too complicated but I definitely wanted a change from the traditional Ragu Italian taste.  I actually considered several things before I decided on a mexican type dish.

I wanted a dish that I could make with ingredients I typically have on hand.  Nothing too fancy, but something full of flavor.  While it is traditionally used to make pasta; I thought I could use the Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce to add in flavors you would typically find in a burrito or taco.  Each jar of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is packed with 11 juicy tomatoes, making it richer, thicker and just taste better.  With some good cheese and heat from jalapenos, the new spices were set.  Instead of using water, I substituted milk which adds creaminess to the dish.  I wanted the texture to remain moist even though this is baked ziti, but with a juicy twist.   I know there is more than one way to cook a tomato but Ragu makes it simple by letting you do less of the work. 

Baked Ziti-Rito
1 lb ground beef
1 Jar (1 lb.  8 oz.) Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can corn, drained
1 ( 4 oz.) can chopped jalapenos, drained
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. uncooked ziti pasta
sour cream, optional for serving

Brown and drain ground beef.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9 x13 inch baking pan.  In a large heatproof bowl combine ground beef, Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce, whole milk, black beans, corn, jalapenos, chili powder, cumin, 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 8 ounces uncooked ziti and stir well.  Pour into the 9 x 13 inch baking pan and top with remaining shredded cheese. 

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Ziti-Rito is definitely going to become a new tra-dish at our house!  It was a hit with the entire family.  Looking for a new tra-dish at your house? Check out Ragu on Facebook for more easy and delicious Authentic Italian recipe ideas.  

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