Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baked Ziti & Icing....But Not Together

I figured the easiest way for me to write down all the recipes and instructions on how to make the items I made for Matt's birthday yesterday (Missed that post? Click here) and also not overload that post with writing and pictures, was to make a separate go-to post for the homemade pasta sauce gravy, Homemade Icing, and Baked Ziti. So, there are 3 different recipes on this one post, just scroll down to the one you're wanting to know about!
If by chance you are making all three of these at once, this is how your kitchen MIGHT look:
See that pot on the left hand side of the stove? Yea, that's my noodles and water about to boil over. 
P.S. I maybe cleaned up a little bit before this picture was being snapped.

Anyways, RECIPES:
Homemade Pasta Sauce
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4+ hours (the longer it simmers, the better)
Serving Size: A lot.
  • 1 can of Hunt's Paste 12 oz
  • 1 can of Hunt's Sauce 15 oz (although, I'll probably use 2 next time)
  • 1 can of Hunt's crushed 28 oz
  • Water
  • Basil, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Pepper (add as much or little and whatever else you want to add)
  • Large pot
Put all the ingredients into your pot. For the water, use the Hunt's Paste can and fill that to the top and then add it into your sauce. If you want it thicker, then add less water. If you want it a little bit thinner so you can freeze it for a later date or maybe you're making a big dish, then add more water.
Let it simmer on low for at least 4 hours or more. It truly makes the house smell good too!

Baked Ziti
Prep Time: 4.5 hours for homemade sauce. With Prego or any other sauce: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serving Size: 8 people
  • 1 box of Ziti 
  • 45-50 oz (or if you want more or less) of sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Spices if you want to add some to the prego or Barilla type of sauces
  • 11x9 dish
  • Foil
 For making homemade sauce, get the sauce going about 4.5 - 5 hours from when you want to serve the dish.Whenever you're almost ready to get dinner finished, start boiling the ziti noodles according to package. I usually boil them for 10 minutes.
While your getting the noodles to boil, pour enough of the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. 
When that step is finished, add 1 egg, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella (except about 1/3 cup) into the sauce that's in the pot.
Once your noodles are finished, drain them. 
Then, put all the noodles into your sauce pot and stir it around to coat them well.
Pour the pasta mixture into the dish.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese and the left over 1/3 cup of mozzarella on top.
Then place foil on the top and put it in the oven on 375* for 30 minutes. Then, take the foil off and let it cook an additional 10 minutes to brown the cheeses.
Yum, right?

Homemade Buttercream Icing
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened (at room temperature NOT microwave)
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of confectioners' sugar (leveled off at top)
  • 2 tablespoons of Milk
  • Mixer
  • Food coloring (if you want to colored icing)
First, start off by letting your butter soften at room temperature. This might take up to 10 or 15 minutes.
Once butter is softened, add butter and vegetable shortening together in mixer. Mix until they are creamed together.
Then add vanilla
Then gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time beating on medium speed.
Once sugar has been mixed all together, icing will look dry. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it's all mixed.
Add milk and beat a medium speed until it's fluffy and light.
I wouldn't let the icing sit out for a very long time. If you don't plan on using it within the hour, I would cover it and then put it in the refrigerator until use. When you want to use it again, just stir it around with a spoon. If you have a lot of leftover and you don't want to waste it, go ahead and freeze it! It will stay good! Besides, you never know if you are going to have one of those  i-just-want-to-sit-in-front-of-the-tv-with-a-bowl-of-icing-to-comfort-me type of day.

To add color to only some of the icing -- put some icing in a bowl that you will need then add dye. 
This is how my cake I made for my husband's birthday turned out. This was my first time making a cake and icing all on my own


  1. It all looks yummy. Your cooking skills have improved 1000% since getting married and moving away from home. Matt is a lucky man. Love Dad

  2. Oh I agree.. they definitely have improved since being married and living on our own! Matt loves all the food and desserts. Thanks for the compliment. Love you too

  3. Yummy!! Ziti is one of my fav things to make and eat and I love the leftovers! Yours looks super yummy