Friday, May 11, 2012

The sauce makes it :)

I grew up eating my mom's ziti, and I remember that for a time it was my favorite thing for her to make.  While this isn't exactly her version, the flavors still hold a lot of memories for me, so I think it will always be a nostalgic dish, regardless of how it's prepared.  

In olive oil brown 2 oz. of diced pancetta.  Mirepoix, yada yada yada.  10 minutes on med-low until soft.  Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, turn the heat to med-high, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

When I'm adding a few ingredients to a dish all at once, I like to combine them ahead of time, just so I don't have to think about it later.  To your pot, add 28 oz. diced tomatoes, 2 Tbl. fresh basil, 1 tsp. tomato paste. Season with SnP, and once it bubbles, turn it to low and simmer 15 min.  Then puree, and taste for SnP again.

In a large saute pan, brown 1 lb ground beef until almost cooked.  Add in 1 chopped onion, and saute over med heat, about 5 minutes.  Add 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbl. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. rosemary, and SnP. Stir until fragrant, then add in all of your tomato sauce.

Preheat oven to 350.  In a 9x13 add a little sauce, and crumble in some ricotta (from a 16 oz container) across the bottom.  Toss 1 lb. cooked ziti noodles with a ladle of sauce, pour into your baking dish.  Cover with the remaining sauce, the rest of the ricotta, 1/2 lb. of grated mozzarella, and enough Parmesan to make you happy.

Bake until the cheeses are melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes.  My kids killed this, they loved it.  :)

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