Less muss and less fuss, but still oh-so-satisfying. Blend all the basics—Ground Beef, zucchini, pasta, sauce and cheese—in a single pot, then finish in the oven. Recipe developed by Oh Sweet Basil and The Beef Checkoff
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat ovenproof 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef and zucchini; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef into small crumbles and stirring occasionally.
Sitr in pasta sauce, water and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta. Spoon heaping teaspoons ricotta cheese over top of sauce. Slightly swirl ricotta into sauce, not mixing in completely.
Cover and bake in 375°F oven 10 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.
Skillet-Stovetop Method: Prepare recipe as directed above using 12-inch nonstick skillet and adding uncooked pasta with pasta sauce, water and pepper in step 2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover and cook on stovetop 8 to 11 minutes (13 to 15 minutes for regular bow tie pasta) or until pasta is tender, stirring once. Remove from heat. Swirl ricotta into sauce as directed in step 2. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is melted.
Test Kitchen Tips Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
Six ounces uncooked regular bow tie (farfalle) pasta (about 2-1/3 cups) may be substituted. Increase uncovered baking time to 10 to 13 minutes.