Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Baked Ziti from Cook's Illustrated


Do you ever watch America’s Test Kitchen Saturdays on PBS? They take ordinary recipes and make them Special; there is a great segment where they review cooking utensils, equipment and tips.  I would have loved a job there….cooking,testing,tasting, comparing; doesn’t get better than that; it’s all about Food and food lovers.


The recipe I am sharing with you today is from the March 2009 issue of Cook's Illustrated and has been thoroughly tested by them.  Sadly I have never seen the magazine around here.  My goal right now is to find this Cook’s Illustrated; Chapter’s is my next stop.


I found this recipe on, made it and I wanted to share it with you because it brings baked pasta up to a new level. Don’t we all need a special recipe that can me made ahead to serve our family and friends? Reminds me of The Sopranos.

Transforming this Italian-American classic into a dish worth making, took more than swapping out the ricotta; come and check this out.  Perfect for a group; it may sound complicated but it is really good and worth the effort.

baked Ziti


Baked Ziti from Cook's Illustrated March 2009

Servings: 8-10


  • 1 lb 1% fat cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt
  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F Whisk cottage cheese, eggs and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 Tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12 inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl, transfer mixture to saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce and 3/4 cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat.

  1. Transfer pasta mixture to 13 x 9 inch baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 3 Tablespoons basil and serve.
  3. Print Recipe



Sage's Tips

Sage’s Tips

Use your own tomato sauce or your favourite from the supermarket.

To save another step you can buy a jar of Alfredo sauce, instead of making the cream mixture.

I made 1/2 the recipe and it was really good.

Make this the day before and bake it with the gang arrives.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to  write to a few words.

Happy Cooking!


Wishing you all a Healthy and Happy 2013.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Poached Egg on Mushroom and Camembert Toast

 poached egg 008
This one is for all the gadget lovers who are seeking the perfect poached egg.

Having spent many years trying to get a perfect poached egg, I investigated every thing from poaching directly in water to every poaching gadget and appliance on the market, including microwave poachers, electric poachers.  Never succeeded so I want to Thank my good friend Paulette who spoiled me again for my birthday. She found the perfect poacher.

poached egg 003

These PoachPods produce the Perfect Poached egg. They're even large enough that I can use a Jumbo egg that my husband prefers  just by allowing a bit more time to simmer. 

Poach pod Stainless

If you love poached eggs, but want a beyond simple way to make them, then check out these cool new poach pods.  Just boil some water, crack an egg into the nonstick interior, drop these floating stainless steel egg poachers in the water, cover the pot and in a few minutes out pops perfect poached eggs. Great solution.

poached egg 001

Here is a great recipe that can be a good and healthier change from the Egg Benedict.

poached egg 008

Poached Egg on Mushroom and Camembert toast
(serves 2)

1 teaspoon oil
1 Tablespoon butter

1 shallot minced

4 portabello mushrooms
1/4cup cream
2 slices of crusty bread
8 slices Camembert
2 poached eggs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Chop the mushrooms.
Heat the butter and oil in pan and add shallot and cook a few minutes; add mushrooms and sauté until they lose some of their juices.

Stir in cream and cook a few minutes.
Toast the bread slices and arrange on individual plates. Top with creamy mushrooms and the cheese slices on top. Put in the oven until the cheese has just melted.

While they are in the oven, poach the eggs for 2 - 3 minutes depending on your preference, and lay them on top of the toasts, sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

Enjoy a new way of enjoying poached eggs.

Printable recipe


poached egg 010

I found out some of you who don’t have a Google account can’t print my recipes, so I am posting them in and hope this will work out better; please let me know. If my blogger friends have a better way of posting and printing recipes on your blog, I would be really happy to find your method; Google Drive is seems to be the culprit. Thanks.

Thank you for your visit, do you enjoy poached eggs as much as I do. Happy Holidays! and…

Happy Cooking!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pork and Apples


While searching for a recipe for my slow cooker, I came across this meal.  Pork and apples are a perfect match; try it and your taste bud will thank you. 

Do you  ever spend time surfing on the web looking for recipe and all of a sudden you arrive at a blog and find exactly what you were looking for?

This is how I found my recipe. I did make a few changes cause that’s what I do. Here is Elle We Can Begin to Feed

It seems I am on a pattern lately; presenting recipes that are perfect for 2 and leftovers for lunch. I have a small slow cooker/crockpot that I use regularly.

slow cooker pork 001

Pork Tenderloin and Apples


1 pork tenderloin
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
1/4 cup applesauce
2 onions diced
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste



Trim excess fat from the pork and slice in 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Mix together applesauce, garlic, brown sugar,chicken broth and balsamic vinegar.
Spray inside of crockpot.
Place pork slices in the bottom of the crockpot.
Top with remaining ingredients, mixing to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Remove pork from Slow Cooker and spoon on the caramelized onions.

Print Recipe here

Sage's Tips

Sage’s Tip

I did add potato halves and carrots the last 2 hours; a perfect one pot meal.

Thank you for joining me this week. Do you enjoy your Sow Cooker/Crockpot as much as I do?

Happy Cooking!