Did everyone get to watch the Academy awards last night? We did. I thought Seth McFarlane did a good job. It is a long show….you know? We all watched together…
I did not have the right frame of mind, this time, to make it into a festivity; I was not feeling well, nevertheless I did make a feeble attempt by printing ballots so we could guess the winners; the kids- we, were excited to fill them out. Nick came in last followed by Amelia, then James and I won with the most correct….thank you very much…I’d like to thank…
Sunday Morning I made a tray of Baked Ziti and roasted string beans, with garlic bread. I also made Split Pea Soup in the Crock-Pot, fried some pork chops and baked a few sweet potatoes. We had the baked ziti with the string beans and garlic bread yesterday for our Sunday Pranzo; which is what my parents call the Sunday meal. “Il Pranzo” is the meal often eaten in the afternoon. Everything else will be for our dinners during the week.
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Boil in a large pot of salted water (I don’t think I've mentioned this but I use sea salt) the pot I use is an 8 quart stockpot with a strainer inside it to strain the pasta easily; the pasta of choice is usually Barilla, Rienzi, DeCecco and Ronzoni. I follow the directions on the box if it says to boil the pasta for ten minutes that is how long the water should be boiling. The pasta is al dente every time – (not mushy the firmness is just right.)
Go-To Cheese Mixture
In a small baking pan coat the bottom with sauce, add some of the Pasta. (Ziti; 1 lb of pasta actually fit in it with the cheese and sauce with the tiny meatballs.) Add the cheese mixture, sauce and a small handful of mozzarella cheese; mix it thoroughly. Add the rest of the pasta, finish the cheese mixture, add more sauce and mix again. Final step add more sauce on top then sprinkle mozzarella – cover with aluminum foil loosely and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes; uncover and bake another 30 minutes. Serve with oven roasted String Beans
Clean and snap the ends of the 1 & ½ lbs. of string beans - run them under cold water and line them up on a baking sheet. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper; sprinkle olive oil on them, about 1 and ½ tablespoon of olive oil, and mix together with your clean hands. Roast the string beans in an oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Shallots and garlic can be used on separate occasions for this recipe, I also roast broccoli, and Brussels sprouts the same way.
Once cooled I dressed it with one minced garlic clove, and a good splash of red wine vinegar, a tiny sprinkle of salt to balance the vinegar and a pinch; less than ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.