Taking care of one another is an ingrained trait in Amish culture. When a house or business burns down, it's rebuilt rapidly. If someone is injured and unable to put up their crops, other Amish step in to help. When a child is born, casseroles and baked goods pile up and someone takes over the household chores for the new mom.
We're not as good at that sort of "well oiled-machine" helping of one another in non-Amish society. I'd guess that is one of the most appealing aspects of the Amish for a lot of us: the sense of community. The Brethren church also exudes a similar sense of community and caring.
My sister-in-law and her husband welcomed their first baby into the world on June 13, a just over 7-pound boy named Collin Mathias. So we headed up there a week or so ago to visit Aster's close-in-age new cousin. He's a cutie! Rachel threw together a ziti dish that was hearty and plentiful, enough for the new parents to get several meals out of. It's the type of dish that Amish cooks will make for a new Mom: filling, able to stretch out over days, and delicious! Rachel put it in two pans, which made it extra convenient to pop in the oven and enjoy. Rachel used disposable containers, not her usual choice of cookware, to prepare and deliver the ziti so that the new Mom wouldn't have worry about having dirty pans on her hands to clean.
We also brought a loaf of heat n serve crusty bread for them to enjoy, it goes great with the meal. Rachel also made some yummy frozen ready-to-bake oatmeal cookies from a German Baptist recipe I had. Stay tuned for that tomorrow! Rachel made this ziti for us a few weeks ago and it was so good I wanted to share with all of you!
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 small to medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ cups grated parmesan cheese
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ quarts of your favorite pasta sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
- salt and pepp
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
- Dice and onion and finely chop 2 cloves garlic.
- Boil pasta according to package directions.
- While boiling pasta, cook onion in a small skillet with olive oil until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, season with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper.
- In a small bowl mix the egg, ricotta cheese and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Drain the cooked pasta and stir in the ricotta mixture.
- Add the cooked onion and garlic, and the pasta sauce.
- Add 1½ cups of the shredded mozzerella cheese.
- Mix until well combined.
- Pour into baking dish and top with remaining mozzerella cheese and then parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until cheese bubbles and starts to brown.
- You can also make the ziti in two 9 x 9 pans and freeze one for later!