Kelly the Culinarian: July 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cooking with Kelly: Baked sausage ziti

I really like baked pasta dishes, but lasagna is such a pain to make. A baked ziti, however, is much easier to put together and can feed the two of us at least four meals. It's hardy and quite tasty. This is my recipe:

1 box whole wheat ziti or rigatoni noodles

1 jar your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 pound pork breakfast sausage

1 small yellow onion, chopped finely

1 glove garlic, pressed

1 cup sour cream (we use light)

1 cup cup cream cheese (again, light is fine)

1 cup cottage cheese (light is good)

1 cup breadcrumbs (Italian or plain are both fine)

1 cup Parmesan cheese (can substitute with Asiago or Romano cheese)

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. While they cook, brown the sausage in a frying pan. Once browned, drain off the fat and then mix in the onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.

Mix together the sour cream, cream cheese and cottage cheese, set aside. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the sauce and mix thoroughly, then add the sausage mixture and repeat. Add the cheesy mixture, then pour entire thing into a 13 by 9 baking sheet sprayed with oil.

Mix together breadcrumbs and Parmesan with your fingers and then top the entire dish with it. Place in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cooking with Kelly: Grilled chicken pasta

Since I blogged regularly, the recession has really set in. Like most Americans, we're spending less and doing what we can to watch our household bottom line.

I make it a little game to throw away the least amount possible, including groceries. So I'm getting more creative with what's in the fridge. This week, I had just a little bit of spaghetti sauce leftover, along with some chopped onions and chicken breasts. I had Tim grill the chicken breasts with some hot dogs we had during the weekend, so we wouldn't have to light the grill twice. I came up with a grilled chicken pasta, which I modeled after a bruschetta chicken pasta dish I had a while back.

2 grilled chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper

1/4 box of whole-wheat spaghetti (any pasta will work, whatever you have on hand)

4 Tablespoons of spaghetti sauce

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 of an onion, chopped

2 teaspoons of garlic (to taste, this is what we had leftover)

A handful of choppedbasil leaves

Parmesan and mozzarella cheese for garnish

Slice the chicken breasts, set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and shock, then set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions, cook five minutes until onions are translucent but not browned. Add tomatoes and pasta sauce; use a wooden spoon to break up tomatoes. Mix in cooked pasta and basil. Plate pasta, top with sliced chicken breasts and sprinkle with grated cheeses (again, whatever you have on hand).