May 6, 2010

Pasta Ponza

 My pathetic unappetizing picture of the finished dish.

I tried a recipe from Giada's new cookbook, Giada at Home (which Giada has signed, because, yes, we are besties), last night called Pasta Ponza (recipe can be found here). The dish originated from a trip she took with her family to the small island of Ponza off the coast of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ponza is also featured in this month's La Cucina Italiana magazine.

This dish was really easy to put together and had delicious flavors. My only issue with it was the texture at the end. The breadcrumbs turned to mush. This may have been because I didn't have any Italian breadcrumbs on hand (although I could have sworn some were in the cupboard) and I didn't feel like washing the food processor, so that ruled out making my own, so I used Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). They just didn't get crunchy enough in the oven, which is odd, because they are usually crunchier than Italian breadcrumbs. I suppose I could have left them in longer, but the pasta was done cooking and I was hungry. Because I did really like the flavors altogether: the juicy, sweet cooked tomatoes, the salty, vinegary capers, along with the mounds of Parmesan cheese (the Pecorino Romano was $11 for one tub (!) so I used the Parmesan I already had), I will make this again, but I think I will try to bake the whole thing together to see if the breadcrumbs will get crunchy.

The most exciting part of this was the gorgeous tomatoes I bought:
Kind of look like bowling balls in this picture!

And I used the ridiculous cat bowls my mom bought me:
They are Japanese and we found them at a consignment shop in RI. They just make me smile when I look at them. And everyone knows I am a crazy cat lady anyway, so I might as well have cat dishes!

Marshal Mike was feeling really sick last night (those damn bandits!), so he slept from about 7-9:30pm. When he reheated his pasta at 9:30, I asked him what he thought and he said, "I'm sick, I can't taste anything." And he shoveled some more into his mouth. Great.

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