Ever have one of those nights where you just don’t want to cook? It’s the last thing you want to do, so you start fantasizing about ordering in from the Thai restaurant around the corner (thank you, Thai Wasabi!) or popping a couple non-existent hot pockets into the microwave. Tonight was going to be one of those nights, but then Jersey Shore stepped in.
I used to hate Jersey Shore—the concept behind it, the people, everything. That was before I ever watched it though. The problem was that I believed everyone online who said it was trashy garbage that painted Italian-Americans in a bad light. I should’ve known better.
Jersey Shore is wonderful. I’ll give you 11 reasons why:
- The meatball problems
- Jenni fights
- Ron and Sammi fights
- The boardwalk
- The drunk dancing
- The GTL
- The accents (makes me homesick)
- Their catchphrases (eg. “getting it in”, “cabs a-heah”, “doing the dip”, etc.)
- The arrests
- The Sunday dinners
So my workday ended and I didn’t want anything to do with dinner. The bf is neck-deep in board prep right now, so I knew he wouldn’t be available to take the reins either. So what’s a girl to do? Feed Charlie and turn on the TV for a quiet minute, that’s what. It wasn’t quiet though. It was full of loud, drunk, and angry Northeastern guidos and guidettes. It was amazing.
That’s when I found my inspiration: Sunday dinner. I never really liked Mike (aka “The Situation”) on the show, except when it came to Sunday dinner. That boy can cook! So when I sat down and saw that going on I realized I could cook up my own Monday dinner while I had Shore in the background to keep me company. I also realized I could use it as a way to cook up my favorite food without the boyfriend complaining (he says I make too much pasta, but I’m Italian so whatevs!)
I pulled up this Meatball and Ziti Bake recipe from my latest issue of Cooking Light. I knew I could pull it off in less than 30 minutes if I used pre-made tomato sauce, and so I went with it. In order to appease the healthful gods of our life, I used ground turkey meat for the meatballs and fresh mozzarella to top it all off. It probably would’ve tasted better if I used ground sirloin and added some parmesan or pecorino romano, but it was fine as is and my boo enjoyed it!
Granted, if this were a real Jersey Shore-style dinner, I would’ve made some salad and veggies to go with it. But we’re moving soon and I’m trying to work my way through the food we’ve got at home. At least that’s the excuse I’m using as to why I didn’t add any greens to this meal.