Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baked Ziti

We made baked ziti for our special meal on Valentine's Day this year. I used the recipe in the current Cook's Illustrated magazine (March/April 2009, pages 14-15). This article talks about common problems the Test Kitchen was attempting to solve.

I suggested to Sharon that we add some crushed red pepper flakes, she vetoed it. Later Sharon went online to look up baked ziti sopranos and found out that Carmela Soprano's recipe was published. Turns out her secret for great baked ziti is the addition of crushed red peppers. Next time :)

Tasted great, rich without being heavy. Served with garlic bread and squash. Even better on subsequent days (like my chili, in this case I don't consider it left-overs).

Next time we want to try using "store bought" sauces so we can prepare it in a hour instead of three. But I suspect that the homemade tomato sauce is very important to the final fresh/light experience. It might help if we get everything ready before cooking the pasta so that the dish can be assembled "wet" to minimize the unclumping job.

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