I call this “La-ziti” because it’s a little like lasagna, a little like ziti, and a lot like me being lazy in the kitchen! This recipes uses mafalda noodles, sometimes called “mafalda corta”, which look like little baby lasagna sheets. If you can’t find mafalda, you can substitute ziti noodles, broken pieces of lasagna sheets, or even rotini or macaroni- this is a forgiving recipe that I use when I don’t feel like making a whole lasagna!
The prepared pesto is one of my “secret ingredients” to making a tasty spaghetti sauce super quick; it adds just the right amount of cheese and basil to sauce that boosts the flavor.
Roasting cabbage gives it a rich, nutty flavor that goes great with the creamy la-ziti.Print
1 head cabbage
Olive oil, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Crushed black pepper, to taste
28 ounce canned crushed tomatoes
8 ounces canned tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
16 ounces mafalda pasta
16 ounces whole milk ricotta
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450*F
- Slice the cabbage into thick “steaks”.
- Arrange the cabbage on a large sheet pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Place in the oven to roast, 15-18 minutes, until soft and browned.
- Turn the heat down to 350*F.
- Set cabbage aside until serving.
- While the cabbage is cooking, cook the sauce: Combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste in a large pot over medium heat, til simmering.
- Add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to gently break it up.
- Let the sauce come back to a simmer.
- Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally to break up any large pieces of ground beef, for about 15-18 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.
- Stir in the pesto and set the sauce aside.
- While the sauce is cooking, boil the noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente.
- Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside.
- Combine the ricotta, cream cheese, garlic powder and onion powder until smooth and combined.
- When the sauce is ready, spread half the sauce on the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish.
- Top the sauce with half the noodles, gently spreading to cover the sauce.
- Top the noodles with half the ricotta, gently spreading with a spoon to cover the noodles.
- Cover the ricotta mixture with sauce, reserving about ½ a cup
- Add the remaining noodles and gently spread
- Add the remaining ricotta, gently spreading.
- Top the ricotta with the last bit of the sauce, gently spreading.
- Top the last layer of sauce with the shredded mozzarella.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes, until the mozzarella has melted and it beginning to lightly brown.
- If the cabbage has cooled, place it back in the oven to warm up enough to serve.
- Remove the la-ziti and serve alongside the cabbage.
Prep It For Later:
- Roast the cabbage according to instructions 1-7, then transfer to a resealable bag or container.
- Make the meat sauce according to instructions 8-12, then transfer to a resealable bag or container.
- Mix the ricotta, cream cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder, and transfer to a resealable bag or container.
The cabbage, meat sauce, and ricotta mixture will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The meat sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.
1 bag or container of roasted cabbage
1 bag or container of meat sauce
1 bag or container of ricotta mixture
Prepare from prepped:
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Bring a large pot of alted water to a boil and cook the malaflda pasta until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, then layer the dish according to instructions 16-24.
- Reheat the cabbage in the oven on a sheet pan while the la-ziti bakes, or in the microwave.