Until last week, I had never before encountered the term "ziti". I had heard of zits but not "ziti". Consequently, I was obliged to look it up - "pasta in the form of tubes resembling large macaroni". Further to this, in Italian it apparently means "macaroni of the bride" because it traditionally appears at wedding feasts - especially in southern Italy.
I came across the word on Catalyst's blog that comes to us from Prescott Valley, Arizona. Catalyst (i.e. Bruce) had created something called baked ziti which is probably familiar to most North American visitors. However, though many British supermarkets boast fairly wide ranges of pasta, I have never before seen any ziti for sale. Penne yes, macaroni yes but no ziti.
Earlier today I bought some pasta spirali that I guessed would be a good substitute for ziti. Spirali is essentially little curved tubes. I had it mind to replicate Bruce's dish. I had made a nice bolognaise sauce on Monday afternoon which we ate with spaghetti that evening but there was plenty left over to mix through my boiled spirali.
One of the things that struck me about baked ziti recipes was the use of dollops of ricotta cheese on top of the meaty pasta before smothering with grated cheddar and placing in the oven. It was said that this would add a nice creaminess to the topping and indeed it did
We ate it with a little side salad and Lady Pudding approved saying on Trip Advisor, "Mmm... I liked that! Very nice!" ★★★★★. Thanks for the idea Mr Catalyst.
If I had known you were serving Mamma's Italiano I would have dropped by with a bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and a bottle of FrascatiReplyDelete
And a Mozzarella, the White Lady, for dessert.
We could all have watched Fellini's *8 1/2* which I have on DVD.
I am sure Shirley likes Marcello Mastroianni and who doesn't like Anouk Aimee ?
Mastroianni was invited to Hollywood Babylon but never signed a contract.
*I did not like the food,* he said.
Perhaps Haggerty should be written with an "i" at the end - an unusual kind of stuffed pasta - Haggerti. I know that hundreds of Italians once settled in the Glasgow area.Delete
Well, that looks yummy!ReplyDelete
Try it some time Bob. Carlos will be thrilled. You could even make it Mexican by throwing some chopped chillies in there and wearing a sombrero.Delete
I'm glad you liked it. I just hope those two bovines didn't eat too much of it.ReplyDelete
The bovines are plastic so they cannot actually eat. The bull is on the left - that was my plate. Hell, I can even talk bull.Delete
Now THAT looks amazing. Truly.ReplyDelete
Good to get a thumbs up from such a passionate home chef.Delete
Love ziti and your meal looks perfect! Definitely comfort food.ReplyDelete
Quite quick and easy and a good way to use up excess bolognaise sauce.Delete
How cruel, posing your dish of food in front of those two cows! I imagine you will be chased by cows in your dreams all night long:)ReplyDelete
Seriously though, it looks good.
The one on the left is a bull because that was my plate. The cow's plate was on the right.Delete
What you describe is pretty much what my Sicilian mother-in-law used to make on a Sunday when we'd come for lunch; she simply called it pasta al forno (not to mix up with lasagne or cannelloni). It knocked one out for the rest of the afternoon, but we LOVED it.ReplyDelete
Zito is singular for being quiet or silent, in the sense of not saying anything. Ziti would literally be a group of quiet or silent ones. But zita is napoletano for bride, and so in this case it is the plural for brides. Zitoni are the same shape of pasta, but larger.
I just looked up how many different kinds of pasta there are. The answer is... 350.Delete
I suspect that there are 350 shapes of pasta many of which will be the same 'kind' of pasta. I eat more pasta than potato or rice.Delete
That looks delicious if you are fishing for compliments ;)ReplyDelete
I was hoping for a better compliment than "looks delicious" Thelma!Delete
It does look very nice and when winter rolls around again I may very well try it if I remember.ReplyDelete
Women look more prettyDelete
After eating baked ziti
All that cheese! Not good for my cholesterol. It does sound yummy though.ReplyDelete
What is cholesterol? Some kind of motor oil I guess.Delete
What would I know about food! But we have small spirals and large spirals. Household Management doesn't buy them anymore whereas I think they are the best pasta to have for picking up whatever else in the dish. My request to HM for mac and cheese, or is it cheese and mac has been ignored. I need to try it before I go to the big nightclub in the sky. Your home grown tomatoes?ReplyDelete
No. The homegrown tomatoes are all gone now we are well into November. Why not write an official complaint to Household Management? Command them to bring mac and cheese to your penthouse suite and make it snappy.Delete
"Ziti woman walkin' down our street". If Roy Orbison was Italian.ReplyDelete
Roy Orbison wasn't Italian. He was a Texan.Delete
The sauce would be fine, but I don't like pasta. Yummy though it looks - I'd pass!ReplyDelete
My in-laws only ate traditional British food. Never any pasta or curries or even rice - unless it was in a rice pudding. You would "pass"? Why not "pass-ta" Carol?Delete
I have never cooked baked ziti before but we eat a fair amount of ziti pasta. My kids are pasta lovers and I pressure can homemade spaghetti sauce from our garden. So when they are dying of hunger, I just boil up whatever pasta we have handy, ziti being one of them, and dump a jar of my sauce into the pan and they have an nearly instant meal.ReplyDelete
One step up from ziti and penne is manicotti. I do make a stuffed and then baked manicotti dish that we eat from time to time. I don't think there is much difference to baked ziti other than the ingredients are for the most part, stuffed into the noodle instead of around it.
Manicotti? That's another one I have never heard of! Sure you didn't make that up just to tease me Ed?Delete
As far as I know, it is the largest of Italian tubular pasta.Delete
Looks yummy, there are lots of pasta options here in the USA. I just finished reading "The Headlands" - very fun read.ReplyDelete
I feel honoured Travel. Perhaps I should get back to some "real" writing - the craft I mean.Delete
I'm glad you got inspired via the USA to try some good old Italian food! Baked ziti is quite popular in the states.ReplyDelete
I have made baked pasta many times before but I liked Catalyst's take on it.Delete
Baked ziti is an Italian-American holiday and pot luck staple as is manicotti which is a ricotta stuffed large tubular pasta or sometimes crepe. Just so you know the substitution of cheddar for mozzarella or provolone is a little weird. Luckily the Italian-American food police do not patrol the UK.ReplyDelete
Looks good. Sounds good. I do like pasta.ReplyDelete
I figured out that the Catalyst does the Oddball Observations blog. I enjoyed finding his posts - he is great at finding the funniest memes!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Neil, I found another blog to read and a nice new recipe to try!