24 June 2007

Menu-Plan Monday

It's that time again. This is the week of my birthday, and I REFUSE to cook on my birthday. Yes, I do enjoy cooking, but it's the principle of the thing. My birthday is my time off for good behavior. I am still trying to decide where we should go to celebrate. So there are only three meals listed this week, because of the birthday, of course, and also because Friday evening will be a travel evening, so we won't have dinner at home. We're headed to Ohio for a wedding! Yippee!
So, for what it's worth, here is my plan for the week:

Chicken with mixed greens, feta, toasted almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette
Garlic Bread

Chef Salad

Corn on the Cob

Chicken Pasta Toss with garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and fresh basil
Garlicky Green Beans
Peaches and cherries over shortcake

Someone else cooks and cleans up for me

More than likely, we'll grab something at Chez McDonald...

Free food at wedding reception

Birthday celebration with my family

Last, I wanted to share with you my version of the Not-Zagna that was on the menu last week. I was so pleased with it--it was half the effort of actual lasagna, but with all of the flavor.

Cori's Two-Saucy MockZagna

1 lb ground beef (with additional crumbled Italian sausage, if desired), browned with 1 minced onion and 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 lb. short-cut pasta (I used rigatoni, but whatever)
1 c. ricotta
1/3 c. parmesan
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonaded, or 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1) Brown beef. When it has lost its pink, add the onion and garlic, and let that work for a minute or two.
2) Prepare pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/3-1/2 c. of the water for the ricotta sauce.
3) To the beef mixture, add the spaghetti sauce and the stewed tomatoes (smush the tomatoes up with your hands before you add them), and let this sit over medium heat until you need it.
4) In the bottom of a large bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil, salt and pepper to taste, and add the pasta water. Stir well.
5) Add the pasta to the ricotta sauce, then add 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce to that; toss to combine.
6) Spoon additional spaghetti sauce over the top and sprinkle with additional mozzarella, if desired.

So easy, and so YUM! If you put a lid on the pasta pot to bring the water to a boil faster, the whole shebang can go from start to finish in 20 minutes or so!

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