I am really going all out with pizza today. But not in the traditional sense. I am taking the expected ingredients–marinara, cheese, and pepperoni–and using them in strange ways. First up this afternoon was pizza biscuits. I took the regular whomp biscuits, cut slits into them, and slipped in a spoonful of marinara sauce, spoonful of ranch sauce (why not?!), a pepperoni or two, and a large pinch of cheese. Then I sealed up the edges and baked them like normal biscuits. Henry said: Can you make these always forever? (not the child, the adult). Needless to say, they were a hit.
Tonight, I am turning those same ingredients into Pizza Pasta. Here’s the breakdown.
- 1 pound whole wheat pasta, your choice of style. I used penne.
- some meat sauce I had in the freezer. Several cups? Use however much you’d normally use for a pound of pasta.
- 1/2 cup ranch mixed with 1/2 cup ricotta
- Grated cheese
1. Boil the pasta, but do not cook it all the way. Leave it a little raw. It will continue to cook in the oven.
2. Layer the pasta down on some meat sauce in a baking dish. Half of the pasta goes down. Put down a sprinkle of cheese and all of the ricotta/ranch mixture. Then add the second half of the pasta, and the meat sauce on top of that. Then more cheese, and then your pepperonis.
3. Bake it at 425 until it’s done. 30-45 minutes, I think.
Over the past 5 weeks, our household has experienced H1N1, sinus infections, bronchitis, and strep throat. Fevers, chills, cough syrup, too many antibiotics. Here we are, beginning February–and Henry woke up with a fever. My cough is returning. I am bone deep tired of being sick. With that said, it’s been a great winter. Wonderful holiday trips to Alderdale and Bellingham. Work at my high school has been going exceptionally well, considering the change in our grading system. Things are plugging along. I am feeling rather optimistic…so much so that I just got done painting my fingernails. And now I am actually doing a blog post. Henry is on hour four or five of homework and I am considering starting dinner.
I chose this recipe based solely on the pictures. Drool. I mostly followed it. I can’t wait to eat it!
It’s simple. I tweaked it a bit–I thought the addition of spinach at the end would lighten it up a bit and make it more healthy. Now I only wish I had bought some french bread to go with it!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- egg white
- some combination of white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice (I wasn’t happy with the ratios I came up with. I didn’t change Giada’s recipe much, but the sauce was just too sour for me. The boyfriend says it tastes like normal piccata sauce, but…)
- 1/4 cup of capers
- 1/4 of an onion, minced finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- parsley and basil
So, I started by pan frying the chicken breasts, after dredging them in the egg white and flour. When they were mostly done, I took them from the pan and rested them on a plate. Then, I sauteed the onion and garlic in the pan I fried the chicken in. I also added a bit of the dredging flour to the pan after the onions were soft. Next, I added the lemon juice-wine-stock combination, along with the capers. I reduced the sauce, tasted it, and wasn’t terribly excited with how sour it was. I scowled and pouted a bit, but the boyfriend insisted that it tasted like it was supposed to.
While the sauce reduced, I boiled some pasta. When it was done, I added a few tablespoons of ricotta and the herbs to the noodles, along with a few tablespoons of the piccata sauce.
With the sauce finished, chicken resting, tomatoes out of the oven, and pasta made, I plated everything. I’d definitely make this again. I think I prematurely freaked out about messing up the meal before I even finished it. I ended up spooning some of the sauce over the chicken that I sliced and it was actually pretty delicious. As long as I didn’t drench everything in that sauce, it was fine. More of an accent than anything–a pungent brightness that tied everything together.
- 4 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, length-wise, seeded
- 1 heaping teaspoon (maybe closer to a tablespoon) ricotta cheese per tomato half
- 2 T chopped herbs (I used parsley and basil)
- salt and pepper
- two cloves garlic, minced
- one egg yolk
- olive oil
Cut, seed, stuff tomatoes. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees until done.