Sunday, September 18, 2011

Miscellaneous Baked Pasta

Dinner: September 15

Two dishes in two days? This week just happened that way.

In short, my friend Amy found a stray dog, and she and her husband brought him to my apartment on Thursday night. They were heading out of town, so I wanted to make them dinner. I became the mother of an adorable pup that night.

As far as dinner, I wanted to make something that could be cooked rather quickly and wouldn’t require much of my time while they were here. Since I had some fresh thyme and tomatoes and spinach in my refrigerator, I googled those items and came up with this recipe. Though I didn’t have the cheeses she recommended or the proper amounts of ingredients, I pulled it together with lots of substitutions and made it my own.

Basics:  Cooked approximately one pound of penne. Meanwhile, heated tablespoon of butter in which 3 garlic cloves, and four slices of bacon were sautéed. Added six ounces of spinach and a few handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes until softened. Added penne, along with ¼ cup of milk, some flour to thicken the mixture, fresh thyme, grated parmesan cheese, and grated asiago cheese. Put all in baking dish, coated with more of both cheese, and baked at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

It was a great, quick one-dish dinner! Amy and Gavin enjoyed it, as did I. The cheeses didn’t melt as I would’ve hoped - there were some chunky bits of cheese in there - but the entire dish was good and filled with tasty ingredients.

If I used this premise for a recipe again, I would use a pasta with ridges so the ingredients would stick to the pasta better, and I would try different cheeses. I would also make the milk and flour mixture separately to ensure its thickness before adding it to the pasta/veggie/bacon mixture.

Overall, though, it was a good meal. And I adopted a dog!

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