- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (28 Ounce Can) whole tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) tomato sauce
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 16 ounces, Ziti or any tube pasta
- 1 tub (15 Ounce) whole milk ricotta cheese (I use cottage cheese)
- 1–1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 whole egg
- Fresh minced parsley
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat.
- Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the ziti until not quite al dente.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
- Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.
- Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.