Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Italian First Holy Communion

Several weekends ago was spent preparing an Italian feast for my son's First Holy Communion. Why an Italian feast, you ask? Well, there are several reasons. First, I am Italian, well, one-fifth. Secondly, somehow when I think of Communion and images of The Godfather fill my head. Visions of a room full of  Italian mobsters talking with their hands and tables full of every pasta imaginable. Finally, why not do an Italian feast?!?!?!

Italian parties are typically so easy to put together. Most dishes can be made the day before and go from the refrigerator to the oven. Plus, you can go as simple or as complicated as you'd like. To stay simple, use jarred sauces, frozen bread, frozen meatballs, container of Parmesan cheese and voila, you have an Italian meal. Of course, if you want something more gourmet, you can go the homemade route with fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. I chose the easy way out.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Baked Ziti
Antipasti Platter
Italian Salad
Garlic Bread

I love making Baked Ziti. It is super easy and I always receive rave reviews. So, here I am publishing my famous Baked Ziti recipe.

Baked Ziti


  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.

    I doubled the recipe and had to switch to a larger pot :(
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.  

  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Sausage And Peppers For A Crowd

4 pounds Italian sausage
6 bell peppers ( 2 red, 2 green, 2 yellow ), sliced
4 large sweet onions, sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 cup water

Put Italian sausages in roasting pan large enough to fit amount you are making.

Place sliced onions on top.

Put peppers on top of onions.

Season with garlic and Italian seasoning.

Fill with water and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

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