Monday, January 24, 2011

Kitchen Kapers: Crockpot Ziti

Today's Kitchen Kapers is a crockpot meal, which is essential for us on busy days when Derek has work and we need to cook & eat within an hour of me being home.   On days like this, either we have something that he can prepare or we do a crockpot meal, which is easiest for everyone involved!

I should preface this by saying that I do NOT like baked ziti. I know it's strange that I would make it, but the rest of the family loves it, so I thought I'd give it a try and possibly surpise myself.  It'll make enough for dinner for all of us plus lunches for Derek and Victoria, so even if I eat more salad than pasta, all will be well!

I found the recipe for Crockpot Ziti on Finding Joy in my Kitchen. SnoWhite links to the original recipe that she used before making her modifications. Check it out!!

To note: I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. I also used Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta (enriched white pasta with added fiber and calcium) instead of whole wheat. You can use anything you like, even rotini would probably work great!

The only thing I didn't pay attention to when I was making this at 6am was that I used the whole box of penne instead of just 8oz.  Oops... Hopefully it'll work out and cook okay!

The verdict: Adding the extra noodles (nearly double) but not doubling the sauce definitely dried it out a bit more than I expected. It also cooked longer than necessary, Derek turned it off around 2pm, which made the cook time about 7.5 hours. I'd stick with 4-5 hours in the future.  Derek and Victoria seemed to enjoy it, but next time I'd add more sauce OR use the proper amount of noodles.  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical with using uncooked noodles, but they turned out great.   I ate it... it was okay... but if you read my preface, I've pointed out that I don't like baked ziti. I don't really care for ricotta cheese, but I would make it again- it's better than other baked zitis that I've had and it was so quick and easy to prepare.  I think that I could even make this in the morning as a lunch for Derek and the kids and it would be perfect for a few days of lunch.
If you like baked ziti, I'd definitely try it out!

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