Sunday, August 29, 2010

Say Yippee for Ziti!

After a long day at work yesterday, Matt & I made a classic that, strangely enough, I've never made before. BAKED ZITI! I don't think either of us have any Italian in our blood, but we felt quite Italian, pulling fresh rosemary and basil and throwing a big pasta together. Then we watched MTV's Jersey Shore...come on, so Italian! Haha We kind of threw stuff together for this:


1 TB olive oil
1/4 chopped onions
3 cloves garlic
3 cups frozen spinach (5 cups fresh)
1 lb. ground turkey
2 TB rosemary, chopped
2 jars (4 cups) your favorite marinara sauce
1 lb (ish) whole grain ziti
8 oz low-moisture lowfat mozzarella, slices
8 oz low-moisture lowfat mozzarella, shredded
4 oz Italian blend shredded cheese (Romano, Peccorino, Parm, etc)

1) Prehead oven to 400. Boil large pot of water, salting a bit.

2) Meanwhile, pour olive oil in skillet on med-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add frozen spinach to thaw, and then add ground turkey (if spinach is fresh, good turkey first and then add spinach). Slightly chop turkey into chunks (size of meatballs or so). Sprinkle in rosemary while turkey is cooking and toss all ingredients together until turkey is fully cooked. Drain excess liquid.

3) Add pasta to boiling water, cooking about 6 minutes or until al dente (cooked but still slightly firm).

4) Pour both jars of marinara in a large bowl and add turkey mixture to it. Tear mozzarella slices into large bites and stir into sauce. (Add other spices if you like, like dried basil, oregano, etc.)  

5) Drain pasta and add to sauce mixture. Stir well and pour entire mixture into a 9X13 pan.

6) Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and Italian cheeses over the top.

7) Bake for 20-30 minutes. Pasta is ready when cheese on top is all melted and a little "crispy" on the edges. Pair with a salad and some tasty bread!

A Crazy Easy Bread

As with some of my favorite recipes (mine and others'), they were created "by accident" because the original idea didn't work so well. Luckily, something good came out of it! This one was supposed to be twisted breadsticks for my parents' anniversary dinner...the dough was not cold enough, so they didn't work out, but this came out instead.

1 can of pizza dough
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TB rosemary, chopped
1 TB basil, chopped
2 TB butter/margarine
1) Roll out dough and sprinkle garlic and herbs throughout. Knead together and roll into a ball.

2) Bake as directed on package. Spread butter on top and allow to melt all over. Serve warm.

I love pasta because it tastes better after the day it was made. Hmm, I see a lunch plan...

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