Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Panic - Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family

Let me introduce you to my new favorite cookbook!  The "Don't Panic" cookbook is now a staple I keep inside my minivan for spur of the moment grocery runs.  The recipes are very family-oriented.  Meaning, yours kids and your husband are going to love them.  The ingredients are moderately priced.  The recipes are delicious, and you can serve them to guests.  Many of these dishes refrigerate well and can be reheated for great leftovers.  I want to share with you my favorite recipe in the book (so far!), Baked Ziti, found on page 99.  Don't skip the goat cheese -- in my opinion that is what really gives it that restaurant quality taste!

Four Cheese Baked Ziti
Yield: 6 servings

3 cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (regular or sharp)
1 t. salt
12 oz ziti or penne pasta
3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried basil (or 1 T. fresh basil, chopped)
1/2 lb. Italian sausage (pork, turkey, or chicken), cooked

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  In a medium saucepan, bring marinara sauce to a simmer and keep heated.  In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of mozzarella and the remaining cheeses.  Set aside. 
  2. In a large pot, cook pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente (approx. 9-11 minutes).  Drain, return hot pasta to pot and toss with olive oil, pepper, basil, and remained 1 cup of mozzarella.  Pour the heated marinara sauce over pasta and mix together (if using sausage, add with sauce). 
  3. Pour pasta into 8 x 8 baking dish.  Top with blended cheeses.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly bubbly.  Serve with hot garlic bread. 

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