Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Cooking

Weekday dinner inspiration: Ziti with Sausage and Fennel, and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Use whatever pizza base you'd like — a Boboli crust, refrigerated dough or homemade — for Mushroom & Fontina Pizza. Saute a couple overflowing cups of sliced mushrooms, a combination of button and baby bellas would be nice, and minced garlic in olive oil. A few shakes of dried Italian seasoning plus coarse salt will boost the flavor. Drain the 'shrooms on paper towels to remove excess liquid. If using a Boboli crust, layer it with shredded Fontina cheese and then arrange mushrooms on top. Bake at 400 for about 6 minutes. If base is raw, bake for about 6 minutes first, then proceed with toppings. Pizza is ready when cheese is melted and bubbling.

Tues | Fun with fennel

Ziti With Sausage and Fennel (recipe below) mixes two classic Italian ingredients for a quick weeknight meal. The hollow ziti provides a nook for the sauce to pool and the fennel boosts the flavor and texture. Serve with a green salad loaded with veggies.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred the white and dark meat for a fast Chicken Noodle Soup. I like to cook the noodles separately and then add them at the end so that they don't get soggy. For the soup, saute onions in a bit of olive oil, then add diced carrots and celery. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add four cups of chicken broth and a cup of water, along with a teaspoon of dried thyme. Stir in shredded chicken and let cook through, then add cooked noodles. Serve with biscuits.

Thurs | Sweet heat

Here's a sweet idea to help use up a few pantry items, including a jar of salsa. To make Spicy Salsa Chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 6 boneless, skinless breasts in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Mix 2 cups hot salsa (or with less heat depending on your tastes) with ⅓ cup brown sugar and a tablespoon each of honey and Dijon mustard. Pour over chicken and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with yellow rice and sauteed spinach.

Fri | Something fishy

It's Florida! Eat fish! There's not a much simpler meal than Baked Fish and Vegetable Packets. Place a 5-ounce fish fillet of your choice (flounder, snapper, grouper) on a square of foil. Layer sliced zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper and onions on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and white wine then top with slices of lemon. Fold the packet securely, place on a baking sheet and slide into a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve with brown rice laced with sliced scallions.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586. Follow her on Twitter at @roadeats.

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