Baked Ziti with Meat

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1⁄2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1⁄4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3⁄4 lb. ziti
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté briefly. Stir in the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and brown on all sides.
  • Drain off the oil from the pan. Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up browned bits. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and tomato paste, stirring to blend. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour and stir well until combined. Gradually add the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Season with pepper and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring at least 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta, stir to separate, and cook until not quite al dente. Drain.
  • Transfer the pasta to a large warm bowl. Add the meat mixture, tossing well. Transfer to a 3-quart greased baking dish. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Distribute the mozzarella evenly over the top and sprinkle with the pecorino romano. Return to the oven until the cheese has melted and the top has browned lightly, about 5 minutes.