Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pastachetti

Have you seen the commercials for the *New* Pasta dish @ that franchise Italian Restaurant? Every time I see the commercial, I say to myself.."I can do that!"... Sometimes that works out and sometimes it goes horribly wrong.  Well this time I was right! Pastachetti was a breeze! It was as easy as I knew it would be!
We can do this one!
When I was growing up, "going out" to eat was a special treat...not an everyday occasion. So my Mom use to make sure that what we ordered wasn't something we could get at home. If my brother were to try to order Spaghetti...or something pasta related...ooohhh he got "that look" from across the table...or the cute lil tap at the back of the head...hehehehe. I knew better. Pasta was for home, period.
Now it can be so, for you too! This one's easy, easy, easy...

Pastachetti


Ingredients:
8 oz Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tbsp Oregano (dry)
1 tbsp Basil (dry)
1 tbsp Garlic (minced or crushed)
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tbsp Olive Oil (preferably garlic olive oil)
16 oz Mozzarella Cheese (portioned in 8 oz portions)
8 oz Parmesan Cheese
6 Lasagna Noodles
White sauce of your choice. (my recipe is at bottom)

Instructions:
Boil Lasagna noodles per package directions. Drain and lay flat on damp paper towels.
Cover with damp paper towels.

In medium Mixing bowl, combine Ricotta and beaten eggs. Mix until fluffy.
Add Garlic & Spices. Combine.
Fold in 8 oz of the Mozzarella and 4 oz of the Parmesan, combine well.
**Note: if Ricotta is "watery" strain ricotta through a cheesecloth or paper towel to remove excess water.
Set mixture aside
In a separate bowl combine remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Set aside.

Preheat Oven to 375°

When ready to fill pasta with filling. Spoon 3-4 tblsp of filling into center of pasta sheet. Be careful when handling, pasta easily tears. Small tears can be dealt with pretty easily. :)

Fold Pasta over the Filling
If you have a split, fold that side first as seen here...


Fold remaining side over to complete the Pasta Roll.


Pour 3 tbslp Olive Oil into bottom of shallow baking pan.
Place each pasta roll into the baking pan seam side down.


Sometimes they split the other way too...
Just try to get them as close to the bottom of the pan as possible.
They'll crisp and close up :)

Sprinkle remaining Cheese Mixture at top of each roll
as seen here...

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until top of each roll is golden and cheese in the center is firm.
(edges will brown a little also)

**Notes:
This dish can be served solo with a nice creamy sauce, salad and breadsticks...or you can do as I did here:
I added Sauteed Italian Sausage and Peppers. Yummyyyyyy...

You are able to use any sauce you like. A Jarred Alfredo or White sauce is perfectly fine.
I used a white sauce because I wanted to go as close to what I saw in the commercial as possible.
Here's my White sauce:

Ingredients:
3 tbsp Flour
4 tbsp Butter
2 cups Cream or Half and Half
1 tbsp Basil (fresh)
2 tsp Lemon
1 tbsp Lemon Zest

Instructions:
In small sauce pan melt butter. Stir in Flour. Continue stirring until flour reaches a golden color.
Reduce heat to medium. Add Cream. Bring to boil, once sauce thickens remove from heat. Add Basil and lemon. Serve.
This sauce can be modified by changing the herb...or substituting white wine for the lemon...can add Parmesan, Gruyere...it's a basic white sauce that can be made into anything you want really...

**The other thing I found when eating the dish was that, a great Bolognese would be fantastic with this!
This would also be Fantastic with shrimp or lobster added to the cheese filling..WOW!
Once you make it the first time and eat it..It will inspire you in all directions!
Enjoy!