Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
In January I spent a long weekend with some of my girlfriends from college. One of my dear friends, Aubs, informed me of a sweet treat called a Pizookie over the weekend. Pizookie is a huge, gooey, warm, cookie topped with ice cream. I came home and did a little Googling to figure out how to make one.
Baked Ziti with Meatballs
Giada de Laurentiis and Mario Batali
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup grated Romano
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 1 pound ziti
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups skim milk ricotta
- 1 bag of Italian blend shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of the Italian cheese blend and the parsley, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef and gently combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Shape into bite-size meatballs. Roll each meatball in flour to coat, shaking off excess.
In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve a cup of starchy liquid and mix with the ricotta. Drain pasta in a colander and then mix with water/ricotta mixture. Pour into 9x13 baking dish.
In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. When almost smoking, add meatballs in batches and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown. Remove meatballs to a plate.
In a large bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes and drained fire roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle in some oregano, parsley, and basil to suit your preference. Place meatballs into pasta mixture. Ladle tomato sauce on top.
Sprinkle the mozzarella, Parmesan, and remaining Romano all over the top. Dot with the butter. Place baking dish on top of baking sheet covered with aluminum foil to collect any drippings from the dish. Bake until top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.