B.O.B. Day 3

i was slightly underwhelmed by this dish, but i think it had more to do with overcooking the pasta, than anything else. i like pasta bakes and they’re usually fairly heavy fare, with the pasta and the cheeses, but i think this was a good compromise between the heavy (with the mozzarella cheese, penne, and ricotta) and lighter (with the nice veggies and lemon zest). but the sauce – oh i did like the sauce. i’m used to aggressively seasoned italian sauces but this was delicious with a small amount of ingredients and fresh herbs… try this without overcooking the noodles and let me know what you think …

Spring Summer Ziti (or Penne)

You need:

olive oil
penne rigate (with the lines)
a container of ricotta cheese (a small one)
asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
fresh or frozen peas (i shelled a bunch from my garden!)
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (plain preferably)
zest of 1 lemon
onion, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
fresh tarragon, chopped
fresh basil, chopped
parmesan, grated

Heat the oven to 400. Put on a pot of water to boil. Salt it when it comes to a boil. Cook your penne according to the package directions AL DENTE. Don’t cook it, look at it instead of checking by tasting for al dente, turn off the stove and leave it in the pan while you make the sauce. Don’t do that. It will get slightly mushy and make you not like the dish. I promise. In the last couple minutes of cooking, add the asparagus and peas. Don’t cook these mushy, either. You want them to be crisp. Or I want them to be crisp. But you do, too, trust me. Drain these. Add the ricotta and lemon zest (and some salt and pepper) to the pan. Stir your pasta and veggies in, coating it all evenly. While the pasta is cooking, heat some olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes. Let these heat up a couple of minutes. Stir in the basil and tarragon, add some salt and pepper to taste, and take it off the heat. Put half the sauce into a baking dish. Layer the pasta on top. Ladle more sauce on top of this. Sprinkle with mozzarella, then sprinkle with parmesan. Bake until the top is all melty and everything’s bubbly.


Cooking music: The Ramones


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