Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Extra Creamy Baked Ziti

I haven't posted in quite a while because I've been away, eating delicious things like Brazilian mariscada at Muqueca in Cambridge, dim sum at Perfect Team Corporation in Flushing, and a bucketful of creamy carbonara loaded with crispy bacon cubes for breakfast (yes, breakfast) at Prune in Manhattan. Since coming back to the Bay, I've been busy preparing to teach a new course, and have been making mostly old standbys that I've already posted or that don't particularly deserve a post.

But my latest rendition of Baked Ziti, based on my old recipe already featured here, might merit another posting. This time, I did a few things differently:

1. I made an enormous amount of bechamel, using an entire container (~4c) of 1% milk and copious amounts of mozzarella and parmesan. The result was an especially creamy, cheesy finished dish.

2. I used turkey sausage, which cuts down on the fat. I also browned the sausage meat separately and then drained it well in a strainer before mixing it with the tomato sauce I'd already prepared. Taking out the extra grease here helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

3. I mixed the pasta with the meat sauce, and put about half in the pan. Then topped that with half the cheese sauce; then the rest of the pasta & sauce, then the rest of the cheese sauce. Keeping the pasta and the bechamel separate is key here: it prevents the pasta from soaking up all the bechamel, so that the finished dish has distinct layers of cheesy goo. Yum.


Anonymous said...

this sounds quite good. i am glad that you are demonstrating the maturity from an earlier post when you appeared to be going to the dark---meatless and fat free (or low fat) side of the food spectrum. what did you drink with this?


Jesse said...

OMG this was so good! Great leftover dish too! Can't even tell that sausage is turkey.

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