Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easy Ziti

This is one of my cook books.

Evan bought it for me when we were first married and were forced to cook for ourselves since we no longer had our moms to take care of us. We had it so rough.

When I first started reading through it, I found the recipe titles intimidating. It is a cookbook meant, not only to give you meals that are actually healthy, but quick, diverse meal options. So, they use some fancy words like "Lyonnaise" and "Fricassee" and "Bonne Femme". Okay, so they were mostly the French sounding words that were scaring the daylights out of me.

As I got more comfortable in the kitchen, I started to branch out and tackle some of the more intimidating recipes. Turns out, the title of the cook book is correct--a lot of these recipes are quick to make and just take actually having most of the ingredients on hand to do so.

Today's recipe comes from this cook book and was one of the first recipes I ever made from the book. Not only are there barely any ingredients, it takes next to no time to bake and everyone loves it in my house.

The Ingredients:

1 (16oz.) jar marinara sauce; 1/2 C. ricotta cheese; 1 (16oz.) box ziti; shredded mozzarella cheese. Preheat your oven to broil.

Start by boiling your water for the pasta. I always end up forgetting to do that until it's almost time to actually add the cooked pasta, then I'm waiting eons for the stinking water to start boiling.

Okay, now dump your marinara sauce in a mixing bowl.

Next, dump the ricotta cheese into the sauce.

Stir together until it's blended and the prettiest orange concoction in the universe.

Wanna see my apron? Okay! My mother-in-law made it for me. I love it. It helps my whites stay white while I'm cooking.

Hooray! Your water is boiling. Now dump in the ziti and cook it until it's al dente (which means still has some bite to it and isn't all soggy).

The pasta's done! Be careful of the steam, please.

Now, mix the sauce with the pasta.

Dump the whole thing into a 9x13 dish or, if you're like me and just grabbed whatever dish you felt like grabbing, a 9x9 baking dish.

Cover with cheese. Put this in your broiler hot oven for 5 minutes. We just want the cheese melted and slightly browned.

Oh my goodness. Is there anything better in the world then browned cheese topped pasta?! Ugh!

So easy to make. We ate ours with a salad. We love salad with Italian food.

This is also perfect for freezing as well. Freeze it before you cook it or after. Just throw it in the oven at 300 for around 20-30 minutes (checking on it). If you freeze it before baking it, then turn it to broil for the last 5 to make sure the cheese browns. Enjoy!

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