Ziti Time!

IMG_5168

This weekend we did a whole lot of relaxing!  A fun dinner at our friend’s apartment Friday, movies and fun night in Saturday, and laundry/de-christmasing the apartment Sunday.  I think we both needed that kind of weekend.

On Friday I made ziti for dinner with friends and I wanted to share the recipe with you.  It is a family favorite and one that I love to make!

ZITI RECIPE

What You Need:

IMG_51481 – 16 oz box ziti
1 large onion (or two small)
2 tbs olive oil
8 cups sauce (I use original Francesco Rinaldi…any will work)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic (I use a little close to 1 tsp though)
2 tbs sugar
1/2 cup ricotta
2 tbs Parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I use more like 2 cups)
Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Finely chop up the onion…

IMG_5149
Then cook the onion on medium heat with the oil until soft…stir constantly!
IMG_5150

2. In a pot boil water and cook ziti for 10 minutes. IMG_5153

3.  Once the onion is soft, add the sauce and seasonings to the onion (basil, sugar, garlic, I also add a bit of oregano, pepper, and parsley)

IMG_5152

4. Cover and simmer the sauce mixture for 15 minutes.

IMG_5154yummy yummy sauce

5. Once the pasta is done and drained, and the sauce has cooked, mix the pasta and sauce in a pot.  Add the ricotta and parm and mix.

IMG_5155

6. In a glass pan, pour the pasta mixture.  I do layers…put 1/2 the pasta mixture in the pan then a bit of the mozz cheese, then the rest of the pasta on top and lots of cheese….

IMG_5157

7. Bake the ziti for 30 minutes at 375*.

IMG_5167Here it is…beautiful, delicious ziti!

8. Enjoy with friends…

IMG_5169(rondo and albus loving each other at em & reg’s while we ate)

I actually added chicken sausage for the first time on Friday and it came out amazing!  To do this slice sausage into tiny bites (crumbles), then brown in separate pan, and add to sauce mixture for the 15 minutes.  It was a new twist and came out really well!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

xo-j

Meatballs! (recipe below)

Another weekend over…bummer…we did enjoy it though!  Friday we had our friend’s engagement party at Brooklyn Brewery (congrats T&K!).  Below are some pics from the night (cheese much Jay?!)…

Saturday we took it easy during the day, and went to see David Byrne on the waterfront at night.  Such an awesome show!  Plus, we were standing next to Bobby from Twin Peaks (which we were way too excited about).

The rest of the weekend was spent paying attention to our man… 

He’s a horrible New Yorker…

Sunday I decided to use my herb garden since it is starting to grow out of control and make turkey meatballs (we are a red meat free house).  I thought I would share the recipe since they are so delicious and pretty healthy as meatballs go!

TURKEYMEATBALLS

What you will need:

3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1 pound turkey meat (I get 99% fat free organic)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parm cheese + a couple tablespoons for rolling
1 egg beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 large yellow onion chopped or 1 teaspoon onion juice

(As you can see above I have an onion hater in my house.  I use onion juice in exchange for the onion since it gives the same flavor and keeps the moisture.)

First, preheat your over to 400 degrees, then tear up your turkey with a fork in a bowl:

Next, chop up your parsley (I used some from my garden and bought the rest…I was a little short):

Beat your egg in a separate bowl then add all ingredients to the turkey bowl including the egg:

Now mix it up really well…use your hands! use a fork! but make sure all of the turkey gets seasoned and doesn’t become compacted:

Now start scooping and rolling your meatballs onto a lined baking sheet.  Once you have your meatballs on the sheet, sprinkle with those extra tablespoons of parm:

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they are firm.  I usually bake for 25 then let them cook in the sauce for another 10 minutes or so:

Use any sauce you want!  I made mine from scratch yesterday (Trubiano’s you know the recipe) since I had herbs to use and time to kill.

While your meatballs are making the sauce taste extra yummy cook your pasta:

Then plate, serve, and enjoy these tasty (and pretty healthy) meatballs!  Below is Jay’s version and mine:

Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy the start to your week everyone 🙂