In My Kitchen: A Cookbook


Pictures

A recent dinner. (Slideshow, Quicktime, 0:30, 406KB.)


Chopped vegetables...

... and sauce ingredients.

Onions saute first.

Peppers added next.

Sauce is complete.

Pasta boiling.

Cheeses (and an egg)

Layered into a pan.

Ready to be served.

Baked Pasta

An Italian-ish classic.

Recipe

A large baking dish, casserole, or other oven-safe dish
Pre-heat your oven to medium/hot (300-400)
Basic tomato sauce, or any variation, one batch
Cook the sauce. When it's started simmering, put on the pasta water.
Pasta, dried or fresh, around 1 pound
Boil the pasta until just al dente, or slightly firmer, then drain.
Shells are a good choice here, but tubes and other shapes would be fine.
Put the pasta in a bowl, pour the sauce over it, and toss them together by lifting up through the pasta with tongs or a serving fork.
Variation: Alternately, put the pasta in the sauce pot and stir on low heat for a minute or two to combine.
Ricotta cheese, 2 pounds
Eggs, around 1 per pound
Beat the eggs into the ricotta.
Adding the egg will make the ricotta firmer when cooked.
Parmesan cheese, around 1 cup, coarsely grated
Variation: Optionally, add:
Mozarella cheese, 1 pound, coarsely grated or thinly sliced
Goat cheese, a large log, crumbled or cut into pieces
Scoop several spoonfuls of pasta and tomato into the bottom of the baking dish to form a thin layer, then spread out a couple spoonfuls of ricotta and scatter in some parmesan or other cheeses, then make another pasta layer, continuing until you've used up all your ingredients.
Try to end up with a top layer of pasta and tomato sauce, with the last of the parmesan scattered on top of that.
Variation: Optionally, for a crunchier topping, add:
Bread crumbs, around half a cup, scattered over the top with the parmesan.
Variation: Optionally, for a softer top, cover the pan in tin foil for most of the baking time.
Place pan in middle rack of oven and cook for around half an hour, or until it's hot all the way through.
Set aside to cool for several minutes before serving, to allow it to set.

Accompaniments

Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Basil pesto
Bread
Green Salad
Red Wine