The oven is filled with cheese, pastry and soft meatballs, so every dish is guaranteed to be wiped clean.
Cooking spray, for baking dish
- 2 c. ziti
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. ground round
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 1/4 c. dry red wine
- 1 (24 oz.) jar marinara
- 2 bunches flat-leaf spinach, stems discarded and leaves torn (about 4 c.)
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 8 oz. bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Gently combine ground round, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; shape into 16 meatballs.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in wine, gently scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in marinara, spinach, parsley, and basil; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and fold in pasta.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan; top with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and basil.