Cooking Classics: Baked Ziti

Cooking Lessons: Pasta. Spicy Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Editorial Director Food Stylist Writer TV Cooking Personality Baking & Cooking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Southern Hostess Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials Cooking Classics

The Technique

Baked Ziti

Classic Baked Ziti  features several hard working cooking techniques everyone should be familiar with in the kitchen. This dish makes a hearty meal that reheats beautifully so it’s definitely well worth the time investment & several shortcuts will have the dish prepared quickly. A cheese blend that is already prepared for your convenience saves valuable time when getting meals on the table for your family while multi-tasking pots & pans during the cooking process saves time on clean up. Follow my tips on The Basics: Pasta & get ready to make a classic Italian favorite the whole family will love. 

Cooking Classics: Baked Ziti Tutorial By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Cooking & Baking Tutorials Culinary & entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Editorial Director Photographer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Southern Hostess Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks

Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickClassic Baked Ziti
makes 8 servings

1 {16-oz} package ziti pasta noodles
1 1/2 lbs 80% lean ground beef
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed
3/4 cup red wine
1 {24-oz} jar sweet basil pasta sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Mornay Sauce
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
Fresh chopped basil & parsley

Cook the pasta in a Dutch oven according to package instructions. Drain & run under cool water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. Rinse the Dutch oven & use it to prepare the Mornay Sauce

Meanwhile, brown the beef in a 3-quart sautépan over Medium-High heat until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Drain the beef & set aside. Add 1 teaspoon of the drippings back to the sautépan. Sauté the onion in the drippings over Medium heat until the onions begin to sweat & they become softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic & cook until the fragrance perfumes the kitchen about 20 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the wine & allow the steam to subside. Stir in the pasta sauce. Pour the water into the jar, return the lid & shake vigorously. Pour the mixture into the saucepan. Stir in the cooked beef, the basil, the crushed red pepper flakes & the salt & simmer the sauce on Medium-Low for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the Mornay Sauce. Add the cooked pasta & toss well to coatCoat a 13 x 9-inch deep-sided casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the cheese coated pasta into the dish. Top with the meat sauce & sprinkle with the  cheese blend. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until throughly heated. Sprinkle with chopped basil & parsley.

Cooking Tutorial: Baked Ziti. How To Prepare A Mornay Sauce By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Photographer Food Stylist Recipe Developer Instructor Tv Cooking Personality Editorial Director Southern Hostess Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickMornay Sauce

Once the cheese has been added, the sauce will thicken & become velvety smooth. Although the convenience of shredded cheese is used to prepare this family-friendly version, a blend of freshly grated Parmesan & Provolone cheeses would make an equally tasty sauce.

3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1 tsp kosher salt

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven & whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute over Medium heat. The mixture will become bubbly hot so whisk like crazy. Whisk in the milk taking care to smooth any lumps. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened & bubbly, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Whisk in the cheese & the salt. Use as directed.

Southern-Entertaining-Game-Day-Entertaining-Buttermilk-Lipstick-Tailgating-Rebecca-Gordon-ButtermilkLipstick-RebeccaGordon-Gameday-Entertaining-Tailgating-Recipes-Tailgate-Party-Football-Party-Tailgating-Dips-Tailgating-Appetizers-Tailgate-Dips-Tailgate-Appetizers-Southern-Entertaining-Southern-Hostess-Buttermilk-LipstickFROM THE KITCHEN OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK
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Cooking Classic Meals: Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Photographer Editorial Director TV Cooking Personality Practical Cooking Techniques For Everyday Cooks Southern Hostess Modern Southern Socials Game Day EntertainingHow To Make Baked Ziti

Baked ziti may seem like a difficult recipe to try as it features several cooking techniques but it isn’t & my streamlined method on how to make a family favorite pasta dish will guide you every step of the way. It can be prepared well in advance of the dinner hour & held in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake the dish at your convenience. A few shortcuts will have the Spicy Baked Ziti oven ready in no time. From the pasta preparation to the rich meat sauce to the quick mornay, here’s what you need to know.

Cooking Tutorials: Spicy Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Editorial Director Food Stylist Writer Photographer TV Cooking Personality Southern Hostess Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Technique 

Spaghetti love meet mac & cheese love. Baked pasta specialties feature a host of family favorite flavors you can count on time & time again when getting wholesome meals on the table. Pull up a chair & find out how to make this iconic Italian classic. 

Cooking Tutorials: Classic Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Practical Culinary Instruction & Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Photographer Food Stylist Recipe Developer Southern Hostess TV Cooking Personality Modern Southern Socials Game Day EntertainingNo. 1

The Pasta

Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Do not be tempted to add any oil to the water as it boils. You want the Mornay Sauce to cling to the pasta. Ziti pasta noodles with ridges will further ensure that the cheese sauce will cling to them.

For additional guidance look to my pointers as outlined in The Basics: Pasta for advice on cooking a wide variety of noodle styles. Once the noodles have been cooked, rinse them under cold tap water to stop the cooking process. 

Rinse out the Dutch oven. It will be used to prepare the Mornay Sauce & toss together the cooked noodles.

Cooking Tutorials: Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Practical Culinary Instruction & Techniques Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Photographer TV Cooking Personality Southern Hostess Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern SocialsNo. 2

The Meat Sauce

A Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir are ideal red wine varieties to use when preparing the meat sauce as they offer a bold punch of flavor. Ideally, you want the meat sauce to tighten up a good bit. Simmer the mixture until thick but still saucy.

Cooking Lessons: Mornay Sauce By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Instruction & Techniques Editorial Director Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Photographer TV Cooking Personality Southern Hostess Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern SocialsNo. 3

The Mornay Sauce

A mornay sauce starts with one of the five classic French mother sauces, a béchamel. A béchamel is a light roux that begins as a white sauce. It becomes a mornay sauce when the cheese is added to it.

Cooking Tutorial: Classic Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials & Instruction Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Editorial Director Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Photographer Southern Hostess TV Cooking Personality Game Day Entertaining Modern SocialsNo. 4

The Assembly

Once the cooked ziti noodles have been coated with the Mornay Sauce, the recipe can be assembled. Pour the coated pasta into a deep-sided, lightly greased casserole dish.

The mixture can be divided between two smaller dishes, if desired. Adjust the bake time accordingly & bake a bit less, if necessary. 

Cooking Lessons: Classic Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Food Stylist Photographer Pastry Chef Writer TV Cooking Personality Southern Hostess Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials4a

Push the pasta noodles down into the dish & top them with the prepared meat sauce. Spread the sauce evenly over the surface & allow it to fill any open crevasses.

Cooking Tutorials: Classic Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Practical Culinary Techniques For The Everyday Cook Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Recipe Developer TV Cooking Personality Photographer Southern Hostess Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining4b

Sprinkle the cheese over the surface of the meat sauce. The casserole dish will be full. 

At this stage, the layered recipe can be held to bake another time. Cover it with plastic wrap. Chill up to 24 hours before baking as directed. Add additional time to be certain the food is nice & hot before serving.

Cooking Tutorial: Classic Baked Ziti By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Practical Culinary Instruction & Techniques Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Photographer Pastry Chef TV cooking Personality Southern Hostess Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining
No. 5

The Baking

To bake the recipe right away, place the dish on a half sheet pan. This will make it easy for depositing & retrieving the dish from the oven. Bake the recipe as directed according to the instructions that have been provided. You want the Classic Baked Ziti to be warm throughout & the cheese over the surface to melt.

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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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