I’m so excited that fall is right around the corner. I’ve told you all before that fall takes its own sweet time getting here in South Florida. But thankfully since I’ve been living here for almost 20 years, I can feel the subtle changes in air temperature. When I headed out for my run Sunday morning before church, I was shocked and thrilled that a very slight cool front had descended on us. I quickly checked my weather app….yep, 75 degrees instead of the normal 79. Hey…I know it’s only 4 degrees, but I’ll take it! There was also a slight breeze.
Aside from all the other reasons I love fall, I have to admit that I’m especially excited at the chance to RUN in colder temps. Since starting back to running the end of May, humidity and 80 something degree temps are the norm for me. I do schedule my runs for early morning or late evening, but it’s still pretty sticky out. I have to say it’s somewhat of a dream of mine…the thought of actually starting a run cold and warming up along the way. I’m told cooler temps will do a little bit to help my pace too, so I’m anxious to see if that’s true. As a slow runner, I’ll take all the help I can get.
Lately my tastebuds have been craving Italian flavors, so sauces, pastas and homemade pizza have been making a regular appearance in my kitchen. This ziti came out of one of those cravings. Homemade sauce, ground beef, ziti were all just begging to be topped with a huge helping of mozzarella cheese. I knew my girls would be thrilled!! Anytime I want to smother anything with gooey cheese, they’re happy. Thankfully I wrote it down as I made it because they definitely want me to make it again soon!
And if you’ve started with My Fitness Pal app, you’ll be happy to see I added in the calorie count for you. I can’t guarantee that I’ll do that from now on, but I’ll try to put it in when I can. Thoughts on that?
- 16 oz. box ziti
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1½ jars Flora tomato sauce (36 oz)
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 2 tsp basil
- 1½ tsp sage
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 pound mozzarella (shredded), for melting on dish while baking
- In a large pot, brown ground beef. While browning sprinkle beef liberally with sea salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
- After meat is browned, add Flora tomato sauce, all seasonings, sugar and parmesan and romano cheese. Don't pour off grease. Turn to low and simmer 1-2 hours.
- minutes before ready to eat, bring pot of water to boil for pasta. Add Tbsp salt and a dash of olive oil. Cook pasta al dente about 9 minutes.
- While cooking pasta, preheat oven to 425.
- In a large 10 x 15 casserole dish, add in cooked pasta and all of the meat sauce. Grate a bit of extra parmesan and romano cheese in for good measure. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil (tented), and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- For a 5 oz serving: 238 calories, 8 grams fat, 22 grams carbs, 6 grams sugar, and 19 grams protein
For a 5 oz serving: 238 calories, 8 grams fat, 22 grams carbs, 6 grams sugar, and 19 grams protein