Friday, May 13, 2011

Baked Ziti

When you go to a restaurant and order baked ziti, it usually comes with just sauce and mozzarella cheese. My mom-in-law used rotini pasta instead of the traditional ziti shaped pasta. She liked the way the cheese “hugged” the rotini shaped pasta. You can use different types of pasta and I have but my favorite is the rotini. She also added ricotta cheese. It’s one of my family’s favorite and I hope you enjoy.


Rotini (1 box)
Ricotta cheese (2 lb)
Mozzarella cheese (@ 3 cups)
Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley
Egg (1)
Meatballs & sausage (cut up)


You can view my sauce recipe by clicking here.
You can view my meatball & sausage recipe by clicking here.

Helpful hints:

You don’t need to use meatballs & sausage; you can use ground beef & pork to simplify your dish. If you make this dish the day before then it will take longer to cook (45 minutes to 1 hour). You can check it by putting a knife in the center of the dish. If the knife comes out warm then your dish is done.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Meat Sauce

Sauce is one of those basic recipes in an Italian family. I’m not Italian but I’m married to one. When I first got married, my mom-in-law came over to our apartment and walked me through making sauce. She taught me to taste my food as I cooked and adjust my seasonings accordingly. After it was done, she left before Tom got home. She wanted me to surprise him with my dinner and gave us time alone to enjoy my efforts. She was a great lady and I miss her.

I find that two types of meat make a yummy sauce but it’s not necessary. You can use a mixture of ground pork & beef instead of making meatballs & frying sausage. Don’t be afraid to adjust your seasonings as the sauce cooks. Remember it is easier to “add” rather than “subtract” seasonings.

To see the video on how to make meatballs and sausage click here.


Tomato sauce (3 - 15 oz cans)
Crushed tomato (1 - 15 oz can)
Tomato past (1 small can)
Onion – 5 or 6 slices (minced)
Garlic clove – 2 or 3 (depends on size)
Salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, bay leaf, grated cheese
Meatballs & sausage (or ground beef & pork)


Helpful hints: If your sauce tastes acidy add a bit of sugar to cut down on the acid taste. The longer you cook your sauce the better the taste. Remember to stir it on occasion.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meatballs & Sausage

There are many things you can do with meatballs and sausage. I will cover that in future posts. What I’m sharing today is my basic recipe for both. Experiment and add your own touch to the dish.
Ingredients (Meatballs)

Ground beef
Bread crumbs (seasoned)
Salt, pepper, oregano
Parmesan cheese

Ingredients (Sausage)



I hope you enjoyed today’s video. Remember for the meatballs – 1lb of ground beef & 1 egg; 2lbs of ground beef & 2 eggs.

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011