Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So good, but such a mess!

Seriously, why is the stuff that tastes delicious such a pain in the a$$ to make? Last night was quite the experience. I'll insert my problems in a red text so you know all the "issues" with last night's dinner.
It was rather delicious to say the least. You are wondering, what did she make? It was called Baked Rigatoni with Spinach-sounds easy right? Looks delicious right?

I believe I snagged this from Food & Wine
1 pound rigatoni
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups (about 1 pound) ricotta cheese
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
6 ounces fontina cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until almost done, about 12 minutes.
Drain. Put the pasta in the prepared baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

Meanwhile, squeeze as much of the water as possible from the spinach. (Seriously, frozen spinach is the worst. trying to squeeze out water, while the green juice squirts over your shirt & counter, you lose half the spinach trying to shake out the excess water-why can' I use fresh spinach?)

Put the spinach in a food processor and puree with the ricotta, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in half the fontina. (Oh fontina cheese, no one told me you were so soft. Grating fontina cheese is not an easy task, especially when it practically melts in the grater.)

Stir the spinach mixture into the pasta. (Ha! In a 13x9 pan??? I don't think so, not even in my largest Pyrex mixing bowl was I able to mix without pasta flying out of the dish)

Top with the remaining fontina and Parmesan. (At this point I was really annoyed with the fontina cheese, so I cut up some chunks & thought, well maybe I could just throw them in the food processor to chop it up. Not so much the case & in the process of doing this, I managed to break off a plastic piece of the food processor lid.)

Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the top. Bake the pasta until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
**My notes** My husband doesn't believe a meal is complete without some sort of meat in it. Knowing this I sauteed 2 chicken breasts in a greek vinaigrette. I then added them to the spinach mixture & food processed all those ingredients together. Also, I had to add cream. It was too hard to combine the mixture & the noodles the mixture wasn't even sticking to the noodles so I eyed it & added some cream. I don't know if this was because I added the chicken or what.
And I thought I would go ahead & post this picture:

This is what happens when I try to cook & make a mess, hence why I always save a copy of a recipe to my computer.


Amanda said...

Your printed recipes look like my printed recipes after cooking!

Linda said...

I found your blog through the nest and wanted to offer you a few suggestions for future reference!

The best way to get the moisture out of frozen spinach is to thaw it, put it in a dish towel, and twist the top, letting the water come out the bottom. It works really well!

And fontina cheese grates better if you pop it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you grate it. Just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.

Renea said...

I am so making this dish this week!