The life and times of the Redding family.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

100 Servings of Baked Ziti/Penne for Once a Month Cooking

Today I made Baked Ziti (I actually used penne) for the freezer. We didn't finish it when we did our last cook day so I decided to do it today. Lawrence had a continuing ed class this morning until noon, the kids were in a contest for the cleanest room award and I started cooking.

I had several very small purple onions quartered, bunches of small green onions chopped, small beautiful zucchini cut in rounds and quartered, mushrooms, and some red sweet bell peppers chopped which I sauteed in a couple of skillets. I had several pounds of italian sausage and ground beef browned. I cooked 12 pounds of penne pasta and rinsed it quickly to stop the cooking process. I used a huge HUGE pot to mix it all in. I actually used two huge crab pots to mix it in. I made a vegetarian batch and a meat batch. I added one huge 6 lb can of tomatoes cubed. I added 12 lbs. of tomato sauce and italian seasoning and 2-3 cups sliced chopped black olives. After I got it all mixed veggies, pasta, sauce, and one big batch with meat I divided it into 10 huge lasagna pans. I then top them with mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan. We had this for our late lunch when Lawrence returned and it was wonderful! A couple of the ladies I cook with had it for supper too! The rest went in the freezers (yes I said freezers I now have two).

A more normal size recipe is below. It will make 3 (13 X 9) pans.

3 lbs.penne pasta
1 lb. ground beef or sausage (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 small zucchini cut in small rounds and quartered
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced black olives
6 cups tomato sauce with italian seasonings or commercial spaghetti sauce.
2 cups chopped canned tomatoes
3 + cups of mozzarella
3/4 cup of parmesan

Cook the pasta until barely tender and drain well and rinse with cold water. Brown the meat and drain. Add veggies and saute until softened. Mix the meat, veggies, 6 cups tomato sauce with italian seasonings added and meat if desired. Spread pasta in 3 - 9X13 inch baking pans. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top to cover and then sprinkle parmesan over the top. Cover and seal with foil and freeze or bake.

If you would rather you could freeze the pasta mix in gallon size bags and attach the bag with the cheese to it and thaw and pour in your pan, top with cheese when you get ready to bake it. This would take up a little less freezer space.

This was a very simple meal to make. Let me know if you try it. We loved it and will make it in future once a month cooking days I am sure.

Drum Roll Please.................... The Cleanest Room Award Goes to...................

Dad was the judge when he returned. The girls won the cleanest room award even though John Mark and James were very close. Everyone did a good job and things look a lot better around here. My room came in last:( Lawrence brought chocolate for the winners and a little bit of chocolate for all the kids who worked - none for me though:) Maybe if I do a better job next time I'll get chocolate too!

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