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June 11, 2013

Need A Use For Leftover Pasta? Try Baked Ziti


Click for Recipe for Baked Rigatoni
Baked Rigatoni

I think I might be becoming semi-obsessive with my tomato plants and their well being. This all started with my oldest insistent that we plant heirlooms this year. I agreed, it would be fun. Fun, hmmm. It has been fun, it also can drive a person crazy. See I tend to lean towards slightly overboard with most projects. I like things to be perfect and right. My son was at my in-laws for the last two weeks so I was excited that his tomatoes would be almost ripe by the time he got back. Then we had a nasty streak of hot and humid weather. I watered the tomatoes like I always do, but one of the plants just wasn't happy. After reading information online, a call to an extension agent and many conversations with friends that grow tomatoes I'm happy to say that his tomatoes are beautiful once again. As for me I think the tomatoes are becoming like another pet, a lot of work with an occasional reward. I hope it will be worth it the end, tomatoes and summer just seem to go hand in hand. This week to welcome my oldest back home I made comfort food. I tried a new recipe for Baked Ziti from the Food Network.

This recipe has 7 ingredients in the ziti and 9 ingredients in the sauce. It takes 50 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active and makes 6 to 8 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First I used leftover frozen rigatoni pasta that I had made previously. I allowed it to defrost and then followed the rest of the recipe. Instead of Italian sausage I used ground roast chuck that I ground myself. I substituted the exact same amounts as in the original recipe. Since ground beef can be more watery than Italian sausage I allowed the sauce to cook down longer until it was nice and thick. After I put the baked ziti together in a casserole dish I allowed it to sit in the fridge for 4 hours to allow the flavors to soak into the pasta.

I served this recipe when my in-laws were over for dinner. Since I couldn't try the recipe myself I relied on everyone else to voice their opinions. My youngest son fell in love with this dish and told me it was his favorite pasta dish. The opinions expressed by my in-laws were similar. Overall, it was a nice way to use leftover pasta and a recipe I would make again. 

For the recipe go to Baked Ziti.

32 comments:

  1. Looks great! =)
    Pinning to try soon!

    Melissa

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comment and the pin :)

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  2. Hi This looks like a great way to use pasta and other things as well. I like to use left over pasta in a bake with veggies, a tomato sauce or a spicy one.

    Great picture.

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    1. I use leftover pasta with veggies a lot too! My oldest is in an anti-spicy phase, so I have been having to add red pepper flakes at the table :)

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  3. That's a really good idea. Whenever I make a baked ziti, I always cook up fresh pasta. I never thought to re-use it like that.

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    1. We always seem to have leftovers and I'm too cheap to throw out anything, even leftover pasta :)

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  4. I love recipes that use leftovers well... I hate to waste anything.

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    1. I'm the same way, I try to reuse every last bit!

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  5. Oh yum ... my favourite food! I'm thinking of doing little snack portions in muffin tins for lunches next week. Thanks for the post! Cheers, Alison

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    1. I love the muffin tin idea, my kids would think that they were perfect sized!

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  6. Yum Ann, I love pasta dishes and this looks like it would really hit the spot! I'm pinning this... Deb

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    1. Thanks for the pin :) I love pasta too!

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  7. Its really worth to try..
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com

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    1. It's very easy and the flavors are great together!

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  8. Mmm, the ultimate comfort food! We had some leftover pasta last week, this would've been perfect.

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    1. Baked pasta is a great comfort food, I agree!

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  9. I absolutely love Baked Ziti. It's so filling and so much easier (at least to me) to make than Lasagna. We usually use ground beef as well but ground turkey is a much healthier alternative and tastes just as good. My kids thinks the more cheese the better so we load up on cheeses. After one slice I'm sure I usually gain 5lbs. :)

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    1. I think it's easier than lasagna as well. Lasagna always seems so time consuming! My husband loves ground turkey and I use it a lot as a replacement for beef, it's great. And my kids would agree about the more cheese the better :)

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  10. Great idea! I come from a family where just about all the men HATE leftovers. They're not always my favorite, but I hate wasting food. I need to find more ways like this to make leftovers into new food.

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    1. My dad was like that growing up too. I have learned to trick my husband and two boys, like with this dish. That way they don't know that it contains leftover :)

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  11. Baked Ziti is high on my list of favorite comfort foods.

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  12. i love baked ziti. we have spaghetti at least one every two weeks, and the days following are always some kind of baked dish using the leftovers!

    rockoomph.blogspot.com
    COACH Bag Giveaway!

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    1. That's about how often we eat pasta too, it's pretty much my kids favorite food :)

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  13. We love pasta...especially when its all baked together and gooey!

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    1. Baked together and gooey with cheese is the best :)

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  14. That looks delicious! I love dishes you can make ahead of time and that reheat well. Will give it a try!

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    1. I'm a big fan of make ahead dishes too. My two boys often make my schedule crazy so it's nice to have everything done early so dinner still gets on the table on time :)

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  15. Thanks for this recipe, I have some basil I want to use. This is probably to big of a task but is it possible to put all of your recipes in categories? I wanted to look up a pasta dish but it would be too hard to look throught the many years of recipes you have cooked. LOL

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    1. I'm working on it :) I started last night, but it will take me a while to made sure everything has a label so I can put it into categories. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the weekend!

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  16. Love baked ziti and this is a good idea. Time saving which is key.

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