Friday, October 19, 2007

What's for Supper?

I love to cook, and I also love for everyone else to cook. I don't know why, but it just makes me happy. Maybe because my generation typically doesn't study homemaking, something which I have found to be such a joy! Here's a great main dish recipe that my family loves. It makes a nice, large portion, and is great left over. It even freezes well! I'll also include my own special salad dressing mix, which is a delicious and much healthier alternative to bottled dressings that are packed with preservatives and weird things that I can't even pronounce.
Bon appetit! Chef
Baked Ziti
12 oz. uncooked ziti pasta
2 lb. ground beef
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 (26-28 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
2 eggs
1 15-oz. carton ricotta cheese
3 c. (12 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Brown meat with garlic and drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Cook pasta according to directions. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, and the Parmesan cheese. Drain pasta; add to cheese mixture and toss to coat. Spoon a third of the meat sauce into a greased 13 x 9 casserole dish. Top with half of the cheese pasta mixture. Repeat layers, and top with remaining meat sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 c. mozzarella. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Vinaigrette Dressing

1/4 c. olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, minced

Whisk together just before serving, and pour over salad, tossing to coat. Works well with simple greens, or maybe with a little cucumber, grape tomato, purple onion, or shredded Parmesan added. This is best made fresh, as it does not store well. This recipe serves about 4, or a small bag of lettuce. A little goes a long way!

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