Saturday, January 5, 2013

Skillet Pasta

This recipe reminds me of Mary (Tony's mom) and the smells take me back to when Mary would cook Sunday dinner. Sometimes Tony will modified the recipe by changing the carrots to peppers or by changing the ham to sausage. He has used ravioli instead of ziti when making this recipe, too.That is the fun with sauce recipes....don't be afraid to experiment....change it up! Provolone cheese was Mary's secret ingredient in her baked pasta recipes and lots of it!! Yum...

My family is tired of Friday night pizza and to be honest so am I! This Friday, Tony decided to cook this pasta recipe and changed it up by cooking the pasta in a skillet instead of a casserole dish. I am sure there is a reason why it tastes so much better from the skillet. Do you know why?

 You will need:

2-3 Tbls Olive Oil
2 cups Ham or Sausage (cooked and cubed)
1 small carrot diced (or 1 green pepper)
1 small onion diced
1 cup dry red wine
12 oz Tomato Sauce
1 lb ziti
1 lb ricotta
1/2 - 1 lb diced provolone cheese (we use closer to 1 lb)
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:
In a medium skillet heat oil over medium heat and add ham cubes. Cook until browned. Add carrots and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until veggies are browned.

Step 2:
Add wine and tomato sauce and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes.

Step 3:
While the meat sauce is simmering, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package.

Step 4:
In a small bowl mix ricotta cheese with 1/4 cup of pasta water.

Step 5:
Drain pasta and mix with ricotta, provolone, and tomato/ meat sauce. Stir until combined.

Step 6:
Grease casserole dish or skillet and ladle pasta into dish. Sprinkle parmigiano-reggiano on top.

Step 7:
Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.

If rushed for time this can be made ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator until ready to bake or freeze for another day. Sometimes we will make a double batch and freeze one. If you are freezing or refrigerating before baking, you will need to add extra baking time.

Voting Scale:

We have started a voting system on meals. It seems there was a little revolt with our menu planning and certain members of our family feel we don't cook good meals. Since Tony and I are tired of the sighing when dinner is announced, we stared voting on each meal.  Every person gets a vote. There are 5 of us, which means the highest score is 5....that recipe would be a keeper. A score of 3 or less is out.  We hold up our spoons to vote a yes.....

This scored: 5 Spoons (a keeper)



dee dee said...

Oh Wendy... this would hands down be a 10 in my book! I will have to try it!
dee dee

Special 'K' said...

Oh looks so good! What time is dinner. Thanks for sharing. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

Christine said...

Your first picture got me. With the crisp looking noodles and all the cheese.

(my theory, everything tastes better in a skillet)

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