Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Presto Pasta - Rigatoni con Verdura

I have been a bad blogger - I've missed many, many Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. And we just can't have that, so I'm back this week with a dish that I "invented" with the help of Jamie Oliver.

I have a (bad) habit of having the TV on as background noise when I am home. A couple of weekends ago Jamie Oliver's new show Jamie at Home was on. I wasn't paying attention until the last few minutes when he was putting the final touches on a baked pasta that looked very very good. I searched the web, but could not find any recipes from the show. Then this Sunday I again had the TV on while doing some cleaning and again Jamie came on. This time though, as the dish started to look familiar I ran for some paper and started taking notes. I made my version for dinner that night and it was quite good! I will make some modifications next time, but overall this is definitely something I will make again and again.

Jamie Oliver used cannelloni, but I had rigatoni, which is just little cannelloni pretty much. He also used creme fraiche and Parmesan for the sauce and Parmesan on top. They don't sell creme fraiche here so I used sour cream. I thought I had Parmesan in the fridge but I didn't, so I had to use feta and mozzarella. I liked them both, but next time I might try the Parmesan out.

Rigatoni con Verdura (my very original name for it - it just means rigatoni with vegetables!)

1/2 lb broccoli chopped into small chunks
1/2 lb cauliflower chopped into small chunks
4 tb olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chile flakes (I used 1 tsp when I made this and it was a little too spicy)
1 cup sour cream
4 oz feta cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 pkg (or so) rigatoni
1 jar pasta sauce

Make the filling: Cook the broccoli and cauliflower in boiling salted water until very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. A couple of minutes before they are done, heat the oil in a large pan and cook the garlic until soft. Add the chile flakes and cook a couple more minutes (JO threw in some anchovies at this point, I didn't). Drain the veggies and add them to the pot. Cook until the veggies are all broken down (I used my potato masher at the end to help them along). Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400'. Pour the pasta sauce into a baking dish (I used an 8X8 dish). Mix together the sour cream, feta and green onions. Season with salt and pepper if needed, and set aside.

With a piping bag, baggie, spoon or whatever, fill the pasta with the mashed veggie filling and place the pasta in rows in the sauce. Repeat until you run out of room or shells. I ran out of room, so I just spread the leftover filling on top. Cover with the sour cream and feta sauce and then with the cheese. Bake until the pasta is cooked through, 30-40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Judy said...

This looks amazing. Perfect comfort food.

I love Jamie Oliver, and I have always loved his shows, but I tried the new one and I don't care for it. Can't pinpoint why though.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This does look lovely! And a chef has to be able to substitute ingredients!

Peabody said...

This would be a great way to get my hubby to eat his veggies!!

Ruth Daniels said...

Great post. It really made me smile. I always used to leave the tv on the food channel as background (at least before coming to my daughter's - they only use the tv as a screen for dvds and videos.)

I also love having to come up with new dishes when I'm out of ingredients. Great job! and glad you shared with the Presto Pasta Night gang.

Sara said...

Judy - thanks so much. I do like JO but I've not really watched the new series very closely yet, just the background noise, really.

Tanna - thanks!

Peabody - yeah, there's lots in there for sure.

Ruth - thank you, glad to be back at PPN.

breadchick said...

Yowsa Sara! That looks soooo good that I'm coming over for left overs!! I love to cook with the TV on in the kitchen especially on Saturday afternoon when the local PBS station has on all the cooking shows (Jacques, Julia, America's Test Kitchen, etc) Something about shared company while I chop things!

Lis said...

Oh man that looks marvelous! All ooey gooey :D Rigs are my favorite pasta so I love your choice!

I didn't know Jamie had a new show.. is he still lookin' all buff and yummy? hee!


Patricia Scarpin said...

Sara, sometimes we get delicious surprises out of nowhere - this pasta dish is delicious and I'm gonna try it!

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Anonymous said...

I'm not clear on one thing in the instructions: do you add the broccoli and cauliflower mush to the sour cream, feta, and green onions? Then use that whole mixture as the filling?

I wonder if this would work as one big mixed up casserole using penne or macaroni. Do you think it would? I ask because I use Dreamfields pasta to cut carbs and they don't make rigatoni or cannelloni (at least not that I know of). :-(

Sara said...

Zoe - you are right, it wasn't very clear. My apologies for that. The mashed veggies are to fill the pasta with. The feta sour cream sauce is to put on top of the filled pasta.

I think it would work as a casserole! Please let me know if you try it.