Saturday, October 13, 2012

Knock Off Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti

I promise you guys, I am still alive! This week has been super busy! Brody was sick with strep, I came home on Monday with a headache so bad it made me feel nauseous, my work was moving to a new office, my dad had knee replacement surgery, and I had two midterms. It certainly does not seem like much whenever I type it out but I promise you all of that made for a pretty busy week! I didn't even get to go grocery shopping until this afternoon. And by the way, Walmart on a Saturday afternoon? Please shoot me in the face before I do that again. That was cray (crazy for all you non-hipsters).

And let's not talk about how much we ate out this week because it was easier than cooking. No, let's not talk about that at all.

I have one of those dry erase calendar boards that I use to plan meals and I make this awesome knock off Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti that was on the menu for last night but due to my having to go kill a Physical Science midterm, I left Ben in charge of dinner. And yes, I was nervous. Let's not talk about the enchiladas again. Or the fact that when I was working at my previous job, I was close enough that I could go home for lunch and one day I came home to a box of Kraft mac and cheese with a can of cream of mushroom soup and corn. Um, what? It was terrible. Last night he ended up making a hamburger casserole, and it was actually edible. I was so proud!

So tonight we had the Ziti. It is the, forreal! I might be a little biased but I think it is better than Olive Garden's dish. And I love me some OG! To celebrate my birthday a few years ago, I went like 4 times, just in one week. Yeah, it's my fav.

I put meatballs in my recipe, Olive Garden definitely does not do this but I think it adds a little something extra. The frozen pre-made meatballs work perfectly in this recipe. 

Knock Off Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti

1 jar of alfredo sauce
1 jar of spaghetti sauce, I used prego
15 oz Ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
16 oz penne pasta
1 bag frozen italian style meatballs, thawed

For the topping:
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, mix the alfredo and spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, garlic salt, italian seasoning, both cheese's, and meatballs in a large bowl. Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic powder in a separate bowl. Add pasta to the sauce and meatball mix and put into a greased 13x9 baking dish. Top with the other mozzarella cheese then sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

And now, it is bedtime. I am very much looking forward to tomorrow, a full day of having absolutely nothing that I have to do. Except I'm sure that some laundry will probably have to be done. Yay.

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