Monday, March 15, 2010

Skillet Baked Ziti

Am am falling more and more in love with the Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen folks every day.

They do know their stuff. And I love that they've done quite a few "skillet" recipes in recent times.... basically, a more "homemade" version of Hamburger Helper.

I used to LOVE Hamburger Helper as the person responsible for the cooking... nice and easy. But I will admit... I've recently graduated to another level of food-snobbiness where I just don't like the taste, even as a guilty pleasure.

In comes things like Skillet Baked Ziti. Which I apparently must have had on my mental to-cook list for awhile, since I had a package of ziti (and I usually never have ziti on hand).

The time change this weekend, combined with waking up at 6am on Saturday when the hubby's alarm went off (he had to go into work, of course I couldn't get back to sleep after that and he slept until 7:30) and getting up yesterday to make soda bread (I'll post that tomorrow) and a second looming deadline for this week added to the one we know about... I was pooped when I got home from work. Tried to nap, didn't really happen, but I knew I at least wanted something for dinner that was pretty brainless to make.

Hello, Skillet Baked Ziti.

I did change it up a bit (of course...). Started with a pound of ground beef and a chopped onion (always a good start) and rather than be fussy, I dumped in a jar of Prego and added a jar full of water (and probably ended up needing another 3/4 jar by the time the pasta was done). Had some leftover cream sauce from the weekend, and some leftover cheese from some other point in time... easy, mindless, and tasty.

Was it good? Yes. The hubby had two huge servings. And I am more than happy to have some leftovers for lunches this week, espeically with two deadlines looming.

But... lessons in Why You Shouldn't Wear a Low-Cut Top When You're Coooking Number 4375.... watch out when you're tasting the tubular pasta to see if it's done. Because, ya know, the SCALDING HOT liquid you're cooking in tends to hide out in that little pasta tube. And it burns like a bleepity-bleep when it squirts out the other end and right down your d├ęcolletage. And leaves SUCH A lovely little burn mark.


Scarehaircare said...

LOLOLOLOL! I'm so sorry. I really shouldn't laugh at your pain. LOLOLOLOL! But, I do feel your pain BECAUSE I HAVE DONE IT! For some reason it is just funny when it isn't me.

MrsVJW said...

Hey... it has been awhile since my kitchen attacked me, I should have been expecting it. I have three aprons, I really should learn to use at least ONE of them while I cook.