I want to hide in my house for the next four weeks until I have this baby.

I can’t handle the comments anymore.

I realize that I’m a freak of nature and that my body is defying all laws of gravity but does EVERYONE have to comment on it?

Here’s an example of 20 minutes of my day:

  • I walked into the gym with my kids and handed my pass to the lady at the front desk to scan who then blurts out an expletive.

“@#&$()@!%, you’re huge!”

Thanks. Super professional…and when my 4-year-old repeats that later today, I’ll know who to blame.

  • I headed upstairs to the gym area where a man stops me and asks if he can rub my belly. Surprisingly this doesn’t bother me. People in South Florida are very touchy feely.
  • After getting on the elliptical a man stops me and spends five minutes trying to convince me that I am indeed having twins. He’s sure of it. Nevermind the weekly ultrasounds I get at the perinatal. This guy knows better.

Really, just those comments aren’t all that bad. But when you get that times 10 a day, my patience wears thin. I’m aware I may be a tad hormonal and sensitive, but I just don’t want anyone to talk to me until I give birth. Thanks. And I should probably stop blogging until my thick skin comes back…

Skillet Baked Ziti

I got really excited about this Skillet Baked Ziti dish because everything is cooked in one skillet. Turns out you need a large skillet with a lid which I didn’t have so I used a smaller saucepan and it worked great. I was under the impression that the whole thing is done in the skillet but at the end the cheese is browned in the oven.

I was hoping to not have to turn on the oven…and I’m sure if you’re really against it you can just put the lid on in the end and melt the cheese that way. You just won’t have the browned, toasty top.

Be careful when you take it out of the oven. Not thinking, I grabbed the hot handle and spent the rest of the night nursing a burn on my entire hand. Was it worth it? YES. The aroma of the garlic, basil and the tomato sauce cooking was unreal. The ricotta adds a light and creamy finish to the dish. This had an authentic Italian flavor with hardly any work.

Skillet Baked Ziti

Print
0 from 0 votes

Skillet Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (I like Hunts)
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 ounces ziti pasta 3¾ cups
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup ) whole-milk ricotta
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet and saute over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15-18 minutes. Make sure you don't cook it too much. It will continue to cook in the oven.
  5. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil into the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. At this point if your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the ricotta and cheese and baking. If you're really against turning on the oven you could cover the skillet with a lid and melt the cheese that way but it won't get browned and toasty.
  8. Add dollops of the ricotta mixture with a spoon and sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti.
  9. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of basil. Serve.