Do you review your existence and question just how you came into existence where you stand today?
I’d certainly one of individuals moments in the kitchen area earlier this week after i was causeing this to be chicken parmesan baked ziti.
Granted, any baked pasta dish tends to bring me to my college days when my roommates and that i essentially resided on pasta bakes night after night after glorious night. I’m able to clearly remember my 20-year-old self, standing more than a boiling pot water, carefully studying the instructions on the rear of that $1 package of cheap ziti, setting the oven timer for however many minutes the package prescribed, not getting a clue what “al dente” really meant. But whenever that timer discontinued, I’d dutifully drain the pasta and toss it whatever jarred spaghetti sauce we’d within the kitchen along with a bag of mozzarella shredded cheese, and pop it within the oven to bake.
Indeed. In those days, this is exactly what I considered an expensive home-cooked meal.
Well, when we really felt like going fancy coupled with a couple of dollars to spare, my roommates and that i might add in some pepperoni or possibly a few of the powdered Parmesan we stored within the fridge. But many nights, it had been simple pasta + sauce + cheese, which would be a big step-up from that which was being offered within the cafeteria. And when it left the oven, you’d better think that buddies and roommates made an appearance from nowhere in the future assist with the leftovers. 🙂
Go forward ten years later, and I’m still making old-school pasta bakes, but I’ve learned a couple of things since. I can’t recall the before I desired to check out the instructions for the way lengthy to prepare a bag of pasta, however i do look nowadays in the labels to find out if you will find clean ingredients inside. I’m also not anxious about attempting to replicate the precise recipe, and rather feel confident tossing in whatever extra ingredients I would dress in hands. I additionally now know the need for generously salting your pasta water, and also the question of including some fresh tulsi. However a decade later, the motivation behind cooking continues to be the same — I enjoy make food and share it with individuals I really like. Even when it’s super simple, and possibly no more quite things i would consider “fancy”. Good meals are good food, which is intended to be shared.
So today I’m discussing along with you a contemporary recipe mashup I designed for some buddies. It’s all the goodness of chicken parmesan, switched right into a baked ziti dish. I call it…(get ready for that brilliance from the name)…
…Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti.
The muse with this really originated from everyone’s response to this Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti recipe which i published recently. My dear goodness, everyone, this recipe skyrocked to the peak of the blog’s statistics and it has remained there since. I didn’t remember just how much the planet loves baked ziti!
I believe, this will be known as an easy college-style “pasta bake”. However when you use ziti, I suppose the classic name is apropos. )
So for any slightly different twist around the classic, I figured it might be fun to make use of certainly one of my personal favorite Pomodoro Fresco tomato sauces from DeLallo making a “chicken parmesan”-inspired form of baked ziti. A lot of you will know I enjoy make homemade marinara sauce, however when I’m tight on time, I usually use this scrumptious type of sauces from DeLallo. By comparison to a lot of sauces in the supermarket, DeLallo’s sauces are manufactured from whole, all-100 % natural ingredients. Plus they really tastes fresh and good, not processed and excessively sweetened. Just good. On almost anything. 🙂
I opted for DeLallo’s Pomodoro Fresco Tomato Tulsi Sauce with this recipe, but any one of their pasta sauces could be great (especially my other favorite, the Spicy Arrabiatta Sauce).
To help make the baked ziti, I cooked up a load of penne ziti after which thrown it using the sauce. Then for that “chicken parmesan” twist, I put in some shredded cooked chicken, chopped fresh tulsi, and a lot of grated Parmesan.
I understand that traditional chicken parmesan requires you to definitely bread and pan-fry the chicken. However I thought the dish already had lots of flavor and texture without adding the additional fat/calories. And hey, in keeping with the name, we’re including plenty of chicken and a lot of Parmesan. So I’m staying with it.
In keeping with college dorm-room form, Used to do still include a substantial amount of mozzarella cheese, making everything ooey and gooey and beautiful.
So essentially, you layer everything up after which pop your dish within the oven…
…and twenty minutes later, this deliciously cheesy dish is able to go. Just top it with a few extra Parmesan and fresh tulsi, and serve!
It certainly feels wild that the decade has transpired and that i have in some way learned my way with confidence around a kitchen area within the time since. And — yes — now am a full-time food blogger. (That job wasn’t even invented after i was in college!) However I love that dishes such as these continue to be part of my existence, and therefore are just like comforting today because they were 10 years ago. Since I certainly aspire to be causeing this to be one tens years form now, and 10 years next, after that….