The family requests that this be in regular rotation! It is one of the best italian casseroles we've ever had. I agree with previous reviewers that success of this dish is dependent on the sauce that you use. I use two jars of Classico Spicy Tomato & Basil. I stick with the sour cream and cheeses recommended in the recipe and think this is fabulous. I am a huge ricotta cheese fan, but for this recipe, the sour cream / provolone + mozzarella hits the mark perfectly. Because this does make such a big dish, I buy a deep dish disposable 13x9 aluminum pan so it all fits. I also like not having to wash a pan with mozzarella cheese stuck all over things at the end.
I also layered this a bit differently based on other reviewer suggestions. I save a little bit (say ~ 1/5 of one jar of sauce) that I put on the bottom of the pan, then put a layer of ziti on that, cover with the tomato / meat mixture, then sour cream, then cheese, and repeat. I ended up with 3 layers, but it all depends on how thick you make your layers and the size of your pan. The casserole does not have any dry spots this way.
I'm sure it will be very good with other variations; italian sausage, ground turkey, etc., but you do not need to change one thing! Thank you Colleen for such a great dish!
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The family requests that this be in regular rotation! It is one of the best italian...