I don’t typically cook meals specifically to freeze for later, mainly because I don’t plan far enough ahead to thaw it! But my friend had surgery this week and I wanted to take her a meal her family could either eat now or freeze for later. Baked Ziti is perfect for the freezer because it is basically cooked when you assemble it, and all you have to do it reheat it in the oven. I doubled the recipe and gave half to my friend, and cooked the other half for dinner tonight. It got 10 thumbs up!
salt and pepper
8 ounces whole wheat ziti or rotini
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) best-quality tomato sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until almost done and then drain.
In a bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and half the mozzarella; season with salt and pepper.
In the bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish, spread half the tomato sauce. Top with ziti, then ricotta mixture and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella.
Cover and freeze OR bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes.
Here are a few of hints for taking taking freezer meals to friends.
1) Use a disposable container. Don’t make your friend wash a pan and bring it back to you!
2) Label your dish. Include ingredients if there might be allergies or if the dish has a cute title (who knows what No Peek Chicken might contain??).
3) Include heating instructions.
4) Make sure the dish is wrapped and ready to go into the freezer.
And then I found the CUTEST free printable tags, Much cuter than my standard hand writing with a Sharpie.
By the way, congratulations to Lyndsey Weber who won the autographed copy of Blacklisted from the PTA. Lyndsey, send me your mailing address so we can get the book sent to you. Thanks everyone for entering!