September 7, 2010
Another Winner Dinner – Baked Ziti
Did you find your Winner Dinners? Last week I talked about what (in my opinion) a winner dinner is…..
- can be made ahead (earlier in the day and refrigerated until time to bake or eat)
- easily doubled or tripled or quadrupled
- freezes well
- can be used for more than just the first meal (for example: baked chicken leftovers can be made into chicken quesadillas)
- excited about leftovers
- family favorite recipe
Cooking Winner Dinners is essential to how I meal plan. Winner Dinners allows me to stretch meals (save a lot of money), double recipes, plan ahead and freeze. Today I’m going to share another Family Favorite that happens to be a Winner Dinner. It’s adapted from this favorite cookbook:
My sister was making this last week and I asked her to take pictures – she made half for her family and brought the other half to a family with a new baby. It’s both of our family’s favorite recipe for baked pasta – it’s definitely a Winner Dinner. (Printable recipe is at the bottom of the post.) You’ll see how we both prepare ahead with this meal by assembling it in two 8×8 foil pans. I’ve found that an 8×8 foil pan is perfect for a family of 4 for two nights. So with this recipe, I make two pans, toss one in the freezer, have one for dinner that night and have leftovers the next night. I have doubled this recipe and made 4- 8×8 pans – watch for pasta and sauce coupons and you’ve got cheap meal.
use a chunkier pasta sauce for better texture and taste (I like Barilla and Classico brands)
prep ingredients – grate cheese, undercook pasta and mix with sauce, make ricotta mixture
layer according to directions
top with grated cheese
write baking instructions on the top of foil – make sure you spray the top of the foil with non-stick cooking spray so you don’t lose your cheese
Easy, peasy, cheesy.
Ready for the next step in Clean Mama’s Menu Planning Month? Make sure you’ve read this first post and this post
Step #2 is later this week.