Saturday, October 04, 2008

Real Recipe Friday (Saturday)

Sorry I never got back to the blog yesterday with the Real Recipe of the day. Time just got away from me. It appears someone deleted the saved Baked Skillet Ziti episode off of our DVR, so I had to go in search of it on the America's Test Kitchen website. The good news is that I found it! Hurray for you! Now you can enjoy this recipe too!

I've made this recipe MANY times for my family and they love it. I've adapted it slightly though to suit our tastes better. You can see my adaptations in parenthesis. What makes this recipe so great is that it's started on the stove in a skillet and then finished in the oven in the same skillet. A one pan meal, gotta love that.

Skillet Baked Ziti by America's Test Kitchen
Preheat oven to 475 degrees, adjust oven rack to middle of oven. You need an oven safe 12-inch skillet to make this meal. I use a 12-inch non-stick skillet that I purchased very inexpensively at TJ Maxx. If your skillet is not oven safe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking. The recipe says it serves four, but I found that it easily serves 6! Oh yeah, one last thing. Every time I've made this recipe, I've included italian sausage. I just cook up my sausage first in the same skillet that I make the rest of the dish.

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I use a 48 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce)
3 cups water
12 ounces ziti (3 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Measure the water and the pasta before you begin cooking. Prep the Parmesan and basil while the pasta cooks.

Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch, ovensafe nonstick skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add crushed tomatoes (or spaghetti sauce), water, ziti, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir. Cover and cook on stove, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15 minutes. If you don't have a cover for your 12 in skillet, use a cookie sheet like I do!!!

Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes.

Serve alongside warm bread and fresh salad greens.

So, what do you think? I think you guys need to watch America's Test Kitchen on Saturdays (on PBS) so you can see more great recipes! Truely, it's one of the best (and most informative)cooking shows on TV today!

Hope you have a great day!


  1. Oh this sounds yummy. I think it's one I'll have to try out here for my family. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love your card from Thursday. I named my blog after that quote. I was looking for quotes with my last name, Grow, and I found that inspiring quotation.


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