Monday, March 15, 2010

Tweaked Ziti

The eight year old in me is entirely delighted at anything that involves the merger of mini meatballs and mac & cheese. Especially when the weather is as nasty as it has been on the east coast these past few days. SmittenKitchen was underwhelmed by her version of this, but I could not resist the temptation to tweak.

altered from Smitten Kitchen

for the meatballs
1/8 C bread crumbs
1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 C ground parmiggiano reggiano
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup flour on a plate
vegetable oil for frying
salt and pepper

for the pasta
1 lb ziti
2 C milk (I used 1 C whole milk, 1 C lowfat)
1/4 C asiago cheese
3/4 C cheddar cheese
3 T butter
3 T flour
salt and pepper

extra 1/4 C or so parmiggiano reggiano

for the meatballs
Mix together the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, parm and salt and pepper. Roll into eensy raspberry sized meatballs. This takes some time, but isn't terrible. Then roll those meatballs in the flour and shake off the excess. Smitten recommends doing that by placing the flour coated meatballs in a strainer and shaking, but for me that just make them stick together. I did it by hand. In a large fry pan, pour a nice coating of vegetable oil and turn the heat to medium high. Working batches, cook the meatballs until nicely browned. I did about a minute to two minutes a side. Set the meatballs aside.
for the ziti
Cook according to package directions. Set aside. Save the pot.
for the sauce
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
In your now empty ziti pot, melt the 3 T of butter. Add the flour and whisk well over very low heat. In a separate pot, heat 1.5 C of the milk. Once bubbles form around the edge of the milk, but before it boils, add some slowly to the flour and butter mixture, while continuing to whisk. Once mixture is fairly smooth, continue adding milk a bit at a time, until all is smooth and creamy. Slowly add the grated cheese. Again, whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
to assemble
Add the ziti to the sauce and stir gently to coat the pasta. Then carefully add the meatballs. Again, mix carefully. Pour over the last .5 C milk. Transfer to a 9 x 13 greased baking dish (I used two smaller baking dishes so I'd have one to serve for dinner and one to freeze). Top generously with parm and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes until everything is warm and the top is brown and cheesy.

1 comment:

JMLC said...

oh so yummy! Damn this stupid GD diet! I can't wait to make this. and the potato cake. and the cookies. Sigh.


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