Now that we have covered some of the more time-consuming aspects of pasta, like making pasta from scratch, let’s move on to more familiar territory. Have you ever noticed how big the pasta aisle at the super market is? It’s because pasta is a quick meal that can be tailored to fit any tastes, no matter how sophisticated or how picky. Dry pasta can be used to make hot or cold meals. It stores well and doesn’t lose its flavor. There are even some excellent jarred sauces that make preparation even quicker. The following dishes use dry pasta and some prepackaged ingredients for the sake of expediency.
Baked pasta dishes are great for a crowd or for leftovers the next day. Dinner that can also feed everyone lunch the next day? Perfect! This version of baked ziti uses store-bought pesto, but this can easily be made fresh if you prefer.
1 package Hot Italian Sausages, casings removed
4 cloves Garlic, diced
1 large White Onion, diced
1/2 of a package Pesto, the kind found in the refrigerated section works well here
1 28 ounce can Tomatoes, diced and peeled
1 package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese diced into cubes
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
3 cups cooked Ziti or Penne Pasta
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13 inch Pyrex pan.
Sauté sausage, garlic and onions until slightly browned. Add Pesto and diced tomatoes. Allow this mixture to simmer on low for 30 to 40 minutes.
In a bowl combine, spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Add the Ziti to the spinach mixture. Combine Ziti and tomato mixture. Mix thoroughly and pour into greased pan. Cover with foil and bake Ziti mixture for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top is slightly browned.
The spinach and sausage in this dish make it extremely tasty, and the cheese gives it a satisfying creaminess.
An Easier Pasta Dish
For an even easier dish cook the Ziti or Penne and let it cool slightly. To this add your choice of chopped olives, chopped pepperoni, cubed mozzarella and chopped roasted red peppers (these can be found jarred in the pickle section of your supermarket). Dress this with Italian dressing. Allow to sit 30 minutes before serving. This is a great dish to serve on hot days or as a side dish. It can be modified a million different ways by adding fresh produce or different kinds of cheese.
A good place to find easy pasta dishes is on the box of dry pasta itself. Depending on the type of noodle you will find hundreds of recipes this way.
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One thing to keep in mind, this type of policy is never meant to replace your regular coverage, only to add to it. Certain expenses are not covered by your regular policy, they would be paid out of pocket by you, but there are companies whose sole purpose is to cover these types of expenses.
With your primary policy, you might be required to pay a deductible, or perhaps meet a copayment. With a supplemental policy, some of these expenses could be paid, or they might provide a lump sum that would allow you to use the money in a manner that you see fit.
Instead of the money given at one time, some agencies will give you the reimbursement over a period of time. This will vary from carrier to carrier, so do some research before you sign any paperwork. In this way, you will know in advance how the payments work.
There are quite a few very good companies to choose from, and like a regular agencies, they have regulations to meet. Some take a certain type of client only. Some companies will only cover people who are on Medicare already, others do not want people to be on this program yet.
If you are critically ill, and you are having trouble with your primary provider, having an additional plan that will cover special doctors, or travel, or experimental treatments, could be very advantageous for you.
But in addition to this, that secondary coverage could also help with your day to day living costs, or either help with the household or your children. All of this will help ease the stress your family is already going through due to the illness.
If you are required to stay in the hospital for an extended period you could also receive help with this. With this you could receive either a cash payment up front, or probably more convenient financially, a weekly amount to help with expenses.
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But is this coverage necessary for most of us, or just another way for the insurance companies to make money. If there is a history of certain illnesses in your family, or if you travel a lot by trains or planes, this could be a very good plan for you and your family.
Choose wisely before deciding if you need supplemental insurance. If you think it is necessary, find a reputable company that handles what you need, and pays in a way that is acceptable to you. Be sure that it covers all of the out of pocket expenses that you think you might be incurring.