I’m stuffed. I’ve been trying to perfect my Wino’s Baked Pasta by cooking (and eating) it these last 3 weekends…and the results are beginning to show. Unfortunately it’s not in the marked improvement in dish, but the development of my double chin. Fan-f*cking-tastic…
On the upside, it’s nice watch family and friends enjoy the fruits of my labour. Last night was spent enjoyably over a baked lasgne (what else?), a nice wine and some good company.
For those who have been drooling over my FB updates…here’s what you’ve been thinking about.
Here’s the recipe so you can try it out yourself…unless you are volunteering to be guinea pig for the next baked pasta weekend ;)
Wino’s Baked Pasta
500g Cottage cheese
(Traditionally, ricotta is used in stuffed pastas, but I stumbled upon this option when I couldn’t find ricotta in the market. I actually prefer the option because it makes the stuffing creamier.)
Combine the 2 in a big bowl. Once well mixed, separate into 2. Into which you add:
5-6 Sweet Italian sausages
1 diced onion
100g bacon (or pancetta if it’s not costing a bomb)
Fry bacon till lightly browned, add sausage and crumble. Finally add onions and keep cooking till they turn translucent. Leave to cool (and remove the excess oil) then combine with the half portion of cottage and mascarpone.
250g baby spinach
A handful of crushed roasted pistachios
Grated nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
Wilt the spinach in some butter over high heat. Leave to cool and combine with cottage and mascarpone mixture, gorgonzola and pistachios.
400g tomato puree
400g rose/riesling (sweetish) + dash for good measure
1 can whole, peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons of cream
Simmer the puree, tomatoes and wine for 45 min. Add ground black pepper to taste and the teeniest bit of salt. Remove from heat and stir in the cream.
Gruyer or Comte
Ready a packet of large shell pasta for the stuffing. In the absense of large shells, you can also use lasgne sheets – which I did last night – though I prefer shells.
Ladle some sauce into a baking pan.
Stuff the shells and place into pan. You can either lay it half-sausage, half-spinach or do alternating rows. That way you get a surprise in every bite. If you are working with lasagne, do half a pan of sausage and half a pan of spinach. Spread the filling over each large sheet and layer about 3 sheets.
Once done with the whole tray, ladle the remaining sauce on over the pasta and cover with cheese.
before putting it into the over (180C) pour a liberal dose of the wine around the sides (the reason it’s called Wino’s baked pasta!). Bake for 45 min – 1hr. I guarantee your house will be filled with the most wonderful smell of cheese and wine!