August 30, 2012

Speedy Baked Ziti

I never realized how hard it can be to raise two boys. When one is happy the other is upset, I clean up a mess and they re-do it worse than it was before. The worst of our battles is always around food. My oldest loves cheese and would be happy to eat it with every meal. On the other hand my youngest has decided he won't eat cheese at all unless it's in a recipe. Recently, I have cut out baked good as snacks and my kids have been less than happy. In the last week they have told me that they hate me numerous times due to not having cookies, bread and cake. However, my youngest has discovered that he loves food that he has never tried before such as quinoa and brown rice flour pancakes. If they still were eating all the snacks they would never have discovered all the new healthy foods that they love. One thing that I have not cut out of their diet is pasta. They absolutely love pasta and will eat their whole plates clean when I serve it for a meal. A couple of weeks back I tried a new recipe for Speedy Baked Ziti from the February issue of Food and Wine Magazine, which looked easy and perfect for my picky children.

This recipe has 12 ingredients. It takes 45 minutes of total time and makes 8 serving. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store and made no ingredient modifications. I chose to use Rao's brand tomato sauce for the marinara. It really is a high quality tomato sauce and now that it is available at Wal-mart the price is reasonable and it is easy to find. As I normally do I ground my own beef chuck. The flavor really is better and the texture has no comparison to store bought. Plus I can chose to have large or small sized grounds. Make sure to let the ziti rest before serving. Otherwise it will fall apart and not come out of the dish completely.

My two boys really enjoyed this recipe. It was mild enough to be child friendly, while still having enough flavor for my husband and I. Since the recipe uses jarred pasta sauce you can change the taste to suit your needs, which makes the dish very versatile. Overall, this is a very easy and child friendly recipe which I will make again in the future.

For the recipe go to Speedy Baked Ziti.
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