I had some Kalamata olives and a half a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in the refrigerator. What to do? What to do? In addition I needed a potluck dish for church service this morning, so I thought I’d make a Mediterranean Baked Ziti. It was very tasty!

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. 93% ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. sweet red wine (I used Duplin’s Hatteras Red)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 c. Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 jar sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, plus a couple of tablespoons of oil for flavor
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. fresh red crushed pepper or 1 tsp. dried red crushed pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar

1 lb. cooked and drained penne pasta (I like Barilla whole grain) Always add a little salt to your pasta water!

1 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. or so freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large Dutch oven, brown the ground beef in olive oil. Add your chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add wine and let simmer until almost evaporated.

Add remaining ingredients, stir well, lower the heat, cover and let simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add ricotta to your sauce. Mix pasta sauce and pasta together in a large baking pan. Add mozzarella, stir and top with Parmesan. Bake for 40 minutes in a 350 degree.