Kidspot Kitchen

Kidspot Kitchen

Fast ziti recipe

This super-fast meal is packed full of hidden vegetables that the kids won’t notice as they tuck into the meaty pasta sauce!



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 x 410ml tin crushed tomatoes
  • 700g Passata (Italian tomato sauce)
  • 6 cups cooked penne
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan


In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry the minced beef until it is brown and drain off any fat from the pan and set aside the mince.

In the same frying pan add 1 tablespoon of oil and gently fry the onion for 2 minutes and then add the garlic with the carrot, zucchini and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture is very soft.

Add the crushed tomatoes and passata and return the beef to the frying pan. Cook for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce a little and toss through cooked pasta.

Serve with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


  • If you get a pot of pasta on the stove early in the day, refresh it in cold water and drain, it will make this dish all the faster to get to the table.
  • You can add your favourite vegetables in this recipe.
  • It’s a good idea to make a double batch of this recipe and place half in a baking dish in the freezer to use next time you don’t have time to cook. You can bake this with cheese on top and it becomes Baked ziti.

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This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, New Zealand's best recipe finder