Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pasticcio a la Aida

Since beginning the Great Unprocessed Foods Challenge, I've started watching a LOT more Food Network.  Semi-homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee isn't much help to me -- the "semi-" part of things typically being an uberprocessed bag of some mysterious food-like substance -- but Ina Garten ranks in my top ten role models.  Someday I'd very much like to live in a gorgeous house in the Hamptons with an incredible garden, all sorts of fabulous gay florists and butchers who know me by name, and a supportive husband who claims to love everything I cook and doesn't mind if I put two sticks of butter in it, thereby gaining forty pounds.

So, in short, I've been DVRing a number of these shows, with seriously delicious results.  Before Matt left for the weekend, we feasted on a delicious pasticcio I picked up from "Ask Aida".

The sauce is simple: saute garlic and onion in a little olive oil.  Add one pound of turkey, pork, or beef and brown.  Stir in a large can of tomatoes and one teaspoon of cinnamon.  The cinnamon is the most important ingredient.  Totally makes the dish.

Simmer for ten to twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, cook one pound of short-length pasta (we used up the Racconio shells) and grate somewhere around two cups of parmesan reggiano.  Layer in a baking dish: half the pasta, one cup parm, all the sauce, the other half the pasta, the other cup of parm.  Aida recommended mixing an egg with a cup of milk and pouring this over the top of everything, but we didn't have an egg on hand and just nixed this part.  It came out delicious nonetheless.

Bake covered for about thirty minutes, then uncovered for another ten.

Yum.  Yum.  Yumyum.

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