June 25, 2008


Early in us, John discovered that it takes a minor miracle for me to pick Italian when presented with a list of "out to dinner" options.

The reason: it irks me to spend nearly $20 a plate for a dish that I could throw together at home for less than half of that, with a little of whatever I find in the refrigerator and the pantry.

The problem from his perspective: I rarely do. There's always some new recipe I want to try or technique I want to practice.

But occasionally I surprise him. Like this meal from a couple of weeks ago... made entirely of on hand (and mostly of must use soon) ingredients. I started by browning a couple of Italian sausage, then sauteeing a half an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in some of the sausage drippings while my rigatoni water came to a boil. I'd found a package of deli-made gorgonzola sauce on a freezer mining expedition, so I warmed that with a little bit of milk. Tossed the sausage onion and garlic in my sauce, deglazed the saute pan with a couple of glugs of an open bottle of pinot grigio and tossed that in my sauce as well. Added a small handful of toasted pine nuts and a healthy handful of raisins. Stirred in the cooked rigatoni and the last of a package of sweet 100 tomatoes. I piled the pasta mixture into a casserole dish, crumbled a bit of blue cheese over the top and stuck it in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.

No recipe, no plan and certainly no measurements... just a series of "this will probably taste good" that usually ultimately does. This may not be *your* grandmother's Italian, but it certainly is very much mine.

And it's my contribution to this week's Presto Pasta Night, hosted by Hillary over at Chew on That and founded by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. To quote grandmas Katherine, Sylvia and Linda... mangia!

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Jerry said...

I just love it when other people cook the same way I do!


I'd say it looked good, but I am totally not a bleu cheese fan of any type...

ostwestwind said...

That sounds delicious! I must cook at least one pasta dish a week for my gentlemen ;-)

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Peabody said...

I can't often order pasta out for the same reason. They charge so much for what I could have made for half the money.

Ruth Daniels said...

My son-in-law is the great blue cheese lover in the family. He'll really be in heaven when he tastes this. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.