Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baked Ziti and Stuffed Mushrooms

So today, we decided to eat dinner for lunch, so we could have dinner twice today. These recipes are super-easy to make, and although the mushrooms have a lot of ingredients, they're still simple to toss together. I believe I spent 30 minutes on preparing the mushrooms, and that includes going outside to forage greens.

Stuffed mushrooms are really one of my favourite appetizers/sides in the world. I like to make them different ways (and for you low-carbers, I didn't put in the bread crumbs today). Yum!

Baked Ziti

3 cups meat sauce
1 16-ounce package ziti (I actually used penne, but whatever)
8 ounces mozzarella
2 ounces parmesan

Preheat oven to 350F. Boil pasta in salted water for 6 minutes, then drain. Place pasta, meat sauce and a little bit of the mozzarella in a casserole dish. Top with remainder of mozzarella and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then uncover and top with parmesan. Bake 25 more minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes, serve, eat. Serves up to 4.

Stuffed Mushrooms

6 large button mushrooms
4 tablespoons parmesan, divided
5 tablespoons mozzarella, divided
1 can minced clams, drained (I give the juice to Aleister)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
.5 cup chopped wild greens* or spinach
.5 cup chopped fresh mint
1 minced scallion
.25 cup minced celery
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350F (assuming you haven't already done this for the ziti). Clean mushrooms, then remove stems. Brush caps with vegetable oil and put in a baking dish. Trim end of stems off and chop finely and put in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons parmesan, 3 tablespoons mozzarella, greens*, lemon juice, mint, scallion, celery and egg. Stir well. Fill the caps with this mixture (I like to kind of push it down into the caps so it's really full. This has the added bonus of the filling just being slightly higher than flush w/ the top of the cap which leaves more room for CHEESE!), then top each cap with a teaspoon of mozzarella and a little more parmesan. Bake these for 25 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the tops are golden brown. Let sit for a minute or five (you don't want to burn your mouth, after all), and eat!

*Ok, so here's the deal with the greens. I'm pretty weird, and I like wild foods. So when I decided to put greens in these mushrooms, I just walked outside and collected some sorrel, dandelion and other wild lettuces to chop up. Just a handful. I assume most people aren't as weird as I am, so you just use spinach or whatever small handful of greens you like best.

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