Friday, January 4, 2008

Rachael Ray lets me down!!

Italian Pasta Bake
Recipe link

2 loaves day-old Italian country bread, crusts discarded, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 pound rigatoni or ziti pasta

4 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 375ยบ. Grease a 10-inch springform pan or 4-quart ovenproof bowl. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with bread slices, fitting them tightly; reserve several bread slices for the top.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and heavy cream, mixing until combined, and bring to a simmer. Set aside 1 cup of the sauce.
4. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce in the skillet and toss to coat. Stir in the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Season with salt. Pour the pasta into the bread-lined pan, pressing down with a wooden spoon. Cover with the remaining bread slices. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
5. Bake the pasta until golden and crusty, about 40 minutes (loosely cover with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning). Let cool for about 30 minutes, then unmold and slice. Serve with the reserved tomato sauce and extra parmesan.

Ok, Miss EVOO, you've let me down here. This recipe sucked. I found it in the "No Recipe Zone" of her December-January 2008 issue. The magazine showed several steps, a list of ingredients, but the point was to have "NO RECIPE." The magazine also said to see the website for specifics. Well, silly me thought that meant I would be ok without checking the recipe. DUMB...

So I used the springform pan. I didn't know there were HOLES in it... WTF did they have me pour a liquidy sauce into a pan with holes in it? So after making a huge mess on the stovetop, I wrapped the bottom in foil and then put it on a cookie sheet. SIGH. Oh yes, and this is in addition to some of my cream being...lumpy... so I ended up using 1/4 c of heavy cream and a splash of non dairy creamer!!

So the results... the bread on top was HARD. Crispy, yes, but too hard for this dish. The insides were very bland. The only flavor came from the PEAS, of all things. Perhaps there weren't enough tomatoes... oh, that's right, they were all over my stove!!

This is not a keeper.

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