Wednesday, July 18, 2018

No-Boil Pasta Bake

I was looking all over for pasta bakes that use uncooked pasta. After some modifications due to missing ingredients (my ricotta went bad) this was the random recipe that got my husband to eat like 2.5 helpings and my 4-year-old son to eat a bowl after telling me he didn't want any. Not sure if that's a good thing, but it at least indicated that it tasted good. :) 



Ingredients
8 oz uncooked pasta (I used gemelli because I like the shape)
15 oz Sonoma Gourmet Roasted Vegetable pasta sauce (you can use any pasta sauce you like - this is just what we had)
1 c milk
1/4 c water
1/3 c grated parmesan
1 lb sausage (optional)
3/4 c riced cauliflower (optional)
More grated parmesan and cheddar for the top
Fresh ground black pepper

I only threw in the sausage for flavor and the cauliflower so we could pretend we're eating vegetables.

Preheat oven to 375F. If you're using sausage and cauliflower, cook the sausage in a pan first and throw in the cauliflower at the end.

Put the uncooked pasta in an 8x8" glass baking dish (I had to use an additional loaf pan since I added the sausage, so you might want to use a 9x13" which I don't have). Pour the milk, water, sauce and 1/3 c parmesan on the pasta and stir it around.  Add the sausage and cauliflower and stir.

Cover in foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove foil and increase heat to 400F. Sprinkle the additional parmesan and cheddar on the top, and grind some pepper on top.  Put the dish back in the oven uncovered and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and try not to burn yourself when you stuff your face. :)

Feel free to add whatever cheeses or herbs you like, ricotta, basil, oregano, etc.

Let me know how it goes in the comments! I'd love to learn from you too!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

I think that the buttercream turned out kind of heavy, so I would probably add more half & half and powdered sugar and beat it a bit longer next time.

Cupcake Ingredients

5.5 oz flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter, melted
45 ml (by weight) sunflower oil
6.1 oz granulated sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

Buttercream Ingredients

1/2 stick butter 
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs half & half 

1.5 sticks butter
1-2 cups of powdered sugar
2-3 tbs half & half

Chocolate sprinkles (optional) 

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk all the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients and stir gently until just incorporated (don't overmix or it will build up too much gluten).  Pour batter into cupcake tins lined with cupcake liners (about 3/4 to 4/5 full).  Bake for 15-20 minutes rotating once at the halfway point. When cake springs back from the middle of the cupcake, it's done.  For my oven, it was about 16 min, rotating at 8 minutes. 

For the buttercream, heat half a stick of butter, the brown sugar, and the half & half in a pot and stir and cook until all the brown sugar granules are dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.  Pour the contents into a bowl and beat in the rest of the butter, powdered sugar, and the 2-3 tbs of half & half.  Stop when light and fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are cool, fill a frosting bag with whatever tip you like with the buttercream and pipe on to the cupcakes.  Feel free to decorate with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate flake.

Makes 1 dozen.