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Dover Post
  • Baked ziti makes for an easy, hearty supper

  • Sometimes life gets busy and it can be hard to work a full day, keep the house clean and make dinner from scratch, not to mention fit in family time and sleep. Luckily, I have a simple and relatively quick meal to share. I say relatively quick because a meal made from scratch will never be as fast as frozen pizza, but in the grand scheme of things it’s quick.
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  • Sometimes life gets busy and it can be hard to work a full day, keep the house clean and make dinner from scratch, not to mention fit in family time and sleep. Luckily, I have a simple and relatively quick meal to share. I say relatively quick because a meal made from scratch will never be as fast as frozen pizza, but in the grand scheme of things it’s quick.
    The main dish for this week’s recipes is baked ziti. I’ve eaten my fair share of ziti and my recipe combines the best aspects of my favorite versions. The sauce is thick and full of flavor, thanks to a little bit of simmering. The ricotta adds a great creamy texture that gives the dish some richness, and the result is a filling and tasty pasta dish.
    Every good pasta dish needs some garlic bread to go along with it. You could reach into the freezer and pull out a frozen loaf of bread coated in day glow yellow garlic and herb spread or you could whip up my simple recipe for a homemade version. I’m not going to pretend that this recipe is low calorie. It has a good dose of butter in it, but there are no mystery ingredients.
    The marinated green beans I’m sharing today represent a recipe that I learned from my boyfriend’s mother. From what I can tell, she doesn’t have it written down anywhere and she doesn’t measure anything, she just eyeballs it. It’s delicious every time. She often serves it alongside pasta dishes and I think it’s a nice departure from the typical salad that usually gets served with pasta. This side is easy and can be made in advance. It only tastes better the longer it sits.
     
    To contact Sarah, email sarah.barban@doverpost.com.
     
    BAKED ZITI
    1 pound ground Italian sausage
    1/2 onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    15 oz. can tomato sauce
    6 oz. can tomato paste
    1 tablespoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 teaspoon parsley
    1 pound ziti noodles
    15 oz. ricotta cheese
    2 cups grated mozzarella
     
    Brown the sausage with the onion and garlic, then add in the tomato sauce and paste. Stir in the dried herbs. Bring the sauce up to a boil then turn it down and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the ziti, preheating your oven to350 degrees. When the sauce is done cooking, stir in the ricotta and noodles. Place the mixture in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish and top with the mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serves six.
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    GARLIC HERB BREAD
    1 loaf French bread
    1 stick butter
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
     
    Turn on the broiler on your oven. Split the bread in half lengthwise. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, add in the cheese and seasonings. Spoon the mixture over the bread and place the bread under the broiler until it is golden brown. Serves six.
     
    MARINATED GREEN BEANS
    10 oz. bag frozen cut green beans
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
     
    Place the green beans in a bowl and allow them to thaw.Toss on the soy and the garlic powder. Allow the mixture to marinate in the fridge for two hours. Serves six.

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