Thursday, March 10, 2011

They Both Ate It ! Recipes Revisited:Ziti With Spinach, Tomato and Cheese

SC had eaten this and liked it in the past--only the last time I made it she didn't like it--said the sauce tasted funny. JR had never tried this before, but wanted to. She's become a fan of spinach in spanakopita cups and in spinach filled ravioli I've been buying from Coscto. So it was time to try this again.

The sauce was the stuff we've been buying from Wegmans and that the girls eat all the time, so I knew that SC liked it. Instead of using Parmesan I used the Peccorino Romano that JR likes so much.

The result was that both of them liked it and ate it--though SC isn't much for the Peccorino. I gave her some horrid "green can" cheese and she sprinkled it on top. 

The Peccorino did make the dish a little saltier than we like it. So next time I will use less and use some good shredded Parmesan along with it.

The original recipe came from Gourmet magazine or somesuch. It had you making your own tomato sauce and added red pepper flakes.

I've found that a good jarred sauce is fine for this and makes this dish much quicker to make. You can jazz it up by pan sauteing some chopped onions and garlic if you like, but we find it's fine without them. And the Man adds his own hot pepper to taste....

Ziti With Spinach, Tomato and Cheese


 1 lb of ziti or penne pasta (I like to use the Ronzoni high fiber version)
2 jars of spaghetti sauce--about 36 oz
( pick your favorite tomato sauce)
1 bag of spinach  (the sort that is pre-cleaned--a 10 oz bag)
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (lower fat types work fine)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (and/or Peccorino Romano)

Heat large pot of water. While the water is coming to a boil, rinse, dry and chop the spinach.
Tonight I rough chopped some of the spinach, but most of it I rolled up chiffonade style and cut into long narrow strips. Worked well. You could also use a food processor for chopping it quickly.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.


When the pasta is done, drain it and combine with the tomato sauce. Mix well.
Add the spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan

Turn the whole mixture into a large, broiler safe pan. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Serve and enjoy. This reheats beautifully.

2 comments:

  1. Ohh, what's not to like? Definitely a dish that SC could make if she's confident enough to drain the pasta. Because Fiona is too young for that, we've found some pasta dishes for the slow cooker that eliminate the dangers of boiling water.

    (I admit, I didn't like spinach until well into adulthood, but the kids have loved it since baby food days. I attribute my change to the availability of baby spinach - my mother only likes the thick, curly, gritty, disgusting mature leaves.)

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  2. I hated it too. My mother used to buy the frozen kind--only kind around most of the winter, but I always used to feel as if it was going to choke me.

    In college I discovered frozen creamed spinach and loved it--still do. Weirdly enough my late lamented cat Puffin loved the stuff and would lap up any left in my bowl. The cream perhaps?

    SC can drain pasta. She just has to remember to do so. Last summer there was that incident with the mac and cheese where she DIDN'T drain it, and since then it's something JR and I like to tease her about.

    JR can drain pasta too, though she's too slight to handle the big pot. But, as she told her dad recently--she's good at cooking things that you boil! Pastas, hot chocolate, etc...

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