Baked ziti is a family favorite, quick weeknight dinner. This delicious, one-pan dinner can be made with or without meat. Either way, from stove to table, it can be served up in 35 minutes!
This baked ziti recipe post was originally published in the Greenwood Daily Journal, on March 6, 2011.
There have been many advances in technology over the last few years that can help keep your busy life organized. PDA’s, Blackberry phones, and iPhones all have “an app for that”. You can practically cook a meal [of baked ziti] with all of the applications that are available on a smart phone these days.
One feature that many enjoy is the ability to link your online calendar to your phone. You even get handy little reminders for your activities: doctor appointments, basketball games and dance class, etc. You get the point. For busy parents who take advantage of tools like that, it must be a godsend. No more bulky datebooks to lug around and write in (gasp!).
So you would think that I, a proud multi-tasker, would make use of said devices. I have to admit that I don’t, because I am an old-school, pencil and paper calendar girl. I like to see it all laid out in my hands. That way, I can hang the calendar up for my family to see and keep track of their own activities. I make a list every day of what I need to do, and sometimes I have a list for my lists!
I do appreciate these new phones and their multiple capabilities. But if I have to watch a 2 minute tutorial on how to set up the program, then you can forget it. I’m sure my son could do it all for me, but that would be admitting defeat to a middle school aged child and I am not about to do that.
Now if you want to know about multi-tasking kitchen appliances or recipes, then I’m your girl. I can throw my support behind anything that makes meal prep time streamlined and more efficient. My ideal weeknight dinner can be made in 30-40 minutes and not use every decent pot and pan I own. I always get a little excited when I make something that is quick, delicious and pleasing to my picky eater.
One such dinner time dazzler is baked ziti.
The meal is made entirely in 1 large, oven proof skillet (affiliate link). From start to finish, the meal is made in 35 minutes, so it’s perfect for nights when I have to be back out of the house by 5:20 to drop my son off at swimming, and then get to the gym by 5:45.
This is another recipe that you can tailor to your families specific taste. We cook with a lot of ground turkey, so that is what I used. The recipe is hard to mess up, unless you are helping your second grader with his homework at the same time. No one likes over cooked pasta.
I used Piccolini farfalle pasta, from the Barilla line of products. The smaller size cooks slightly faster, making it perfect for little mouths. Really though, use what you have. Small shells, ziti or farfalle will all suffice. If you would like a chunkier sauce, add a small can of Red Gold petite diced tomatoes. I used my favorite tomato puree from Red Gold because I didn’t want any “chunks” for my younger son to complain about!