Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not So Spicy Baked Macaroni

From my previous posts, you may have realized that I love Giada's Everyday Pasta Cookbook. In my effort to continue cooking my way through this book, I decided to try the recipe for Spicy Baked Pasta. The only change I made was to omit the red pepper flakes. I like the combination of vegetables and cheeses used in this recipe. My only complaint was the dish was a little dry. From reading reviews on, it seems this was a common complaint. I will probably add more tomatoes next time and maybe toss the pasta and veggies with some olive oil. Overall, it was still a good dish just needs a little tweaking.

Spicy Baked Macaroni
Recipe Courtesy of Giada de Laurentis

1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound assorted mushrooms, quartered
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup
1/4 cup Romano, plus 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons
12 ounces mozzarella cubed (about 2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onion is golden, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup Romano. Spread the softened butter in a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish and sprinkle half of the bread crumb mixture inside the dish to coat.

In a large bowl combine the vegetable mixture with the cooked macaroni, cubed mozzarella, the remaining Parmesan and Romano cheeses, and the nutmeg. Spoon into the prepared baking dish, top with the remaining bread crumb mixture, and dot the top with the remaining butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.

1 comment:

KC720 said...

Thanks for posting this! I just got the Everyday Pasta book from the library and I'm trying to cook as many recipes as possible out of it in the next couple weeks! I tried the "Angel Hair Pasta w/Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese" last night - Delicious and super easy!