Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Skillet Ziti

I am a big fan of America's Test Kitchen, a TV show by the Cook's Illustrated people that appears on PBS on Saturdays here. If you're not familiar with Cook's Illustrated magazine, you should be--it's the "Consumer Reports" of the food world. I've made a number of their recipes over the years and have never been disappointed. They also have great ingredient and tools reviews. It's a great magazine and a great web site. I actually pay a yearly membership to access their web site and find it well worth it.

So I watched a recent show, and they did a one-pan "baked" ziti recipe. I decided to try it. What an awesome recipe. Simple, easy, relatively quick, inexpensive, and with great taste, this recipe had it all. And all in one pan. Basically you saute a bit of garlic in olive oil, add crushed tomatoes and water, and cook the uncooked ziti in it--yes, it soaks up most of the water. Later you finish with some heavy cream, parmesan, and fresh basil (and a bit of salt), then top with mozzarella and bake for a bit.

The end result was truly wonderful. The pasta was cooked just perfectly, the sauce was rich and creamy with a wonderful basil flavor and aroma--not complicated, but beautiful in its simplicity. I will make this recipe again, for sure. Add a salad and some hearty bread and you have a great meal. Simple while elegant, and sure to impress. I'll be making this again!


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