Carl Koenemann’s Baked Ziti

  • 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage ( I like going with the hot Italian)
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 large can whole tomoatos
  • 2 Jars Marinara Sauce or mix things up and try 1 vodka
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces, of Ziti ~ or any noodles you have handy
  •  Fresh minced Basil


  1. Heat olive oil and butter a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 6 minutes, or until starting to soften
  3. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. Drain off fat, leaving a few drops behind to add some extra flavor and keep the dish moist.
  5. Add tomatoes, marinara, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Add ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir together.
  8. Drain the pasta
  9. Add half the pasta to a large casserole dish and layer sauce over the top and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  10. Repeat
  11. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until cheese is becoming slightly brown.
  12. Let dish sit for 10 minutes and top with fresh basil and more cheese if desired.
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