Pasta Bake and the Art of Procrastination

24 Oct

Ironing I hate it. I know some people tell me it can be therapeutic, but I can’t think of anything I hate more than ironing. Thanks to Mutti I have an almost pathological need to iron everything, tea towels and sheets included. Despite my absolute abhorrence of ironing I found myself last week looking at the prospect of ironing with pleasure. This radical turn around is not due to any head injury, although I have in the past given myself concussion trying to feed a dog. Talented, yes I am! 🙂  No this embracing of ironing has occurred because in the last week I have had a task, even more horrendous to undertake….a legal essay. That right folks, this little black duck decided just in case she wasn’t extending herself enough, she should undertake a Master’s Degree in Law. People keep telling me how beneficial it will be for me in the long term, but like a child staring at a plate of greens, I can’t think of anything that could make me gleefully swallow that unappetising task

During the first years of recognisable academic effort, I developed a strange means of procrastinating, Cooking. In the early years it was largely baking. Trays of brownies and muffins would be created every day. I felt that despite my imminent failure, I could rely on my ability to produce a tasty brownie.  Over the years my repertoire has expanded. No longer a school student but instead an allegedly ‘fully grown adult’, cooking in times of stress serves a nutritional and time saving purpose as well as a procrastinating one. I so long for a tasty and enjoyable highlight to the day, when I am slaving over a dry legal paper and sitting down for a tasty dinner before trudging back to my computer to write another 1000 words, makes my life bearable. Unfortunately with work and general life tasks this can be difficult to manage, so thinking ahead and cooking something that can be enjoyed for a couple of days is indeed useful and not merely an attempt to escape the inescapable, or so I tell myself.

Large Pasta Shells

I have seen a few recipes for these large style pasta shells. As usual my efforts were dictated largely by what was left over in my fridge. I have to say it is quite a filling, tasty and yet a surprisingly economical meal. The herbs used are just those I grow in my garden and you could of course substitute frozen spinach or Silverbeet for baby spinach

After baking

Pasta bake with Italian sausage and Ricotta Tomato Sauce.

6 serves.

  • 250 gms of large ear shaped shell pasta.
  • 2 italian sausages, filling removed from the skin and formed into small balls.
  • 1 can of cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of robust white wine
  • 250 gms of ricotta
  • ½ cup of chopped basil, chives and parsley
  • 1 large handful of chopped baby spinach
  • 100 gms of kalamata olives chopped
  • ¼ cup of parmesan
  • ½ ball of mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup of grated cheese to top

1. Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Drain once cooked but still firm. The pasta is going to be baked again in the oven.

2. Drain half the can of cherry tomatoes of juice but reserve half with the tomatoes

3. Add ricotta to the canned cherry tomatoes

4. Add wine and stir in herbs, chopped olives, baby spinach and parmesan.

Ricotta and Tomato sauce

5. Remove sausage mix from the skin and form into small balls

6. Put drained pasta in to the tomato and ricotta mix. Pour into a casserole dish.

7. Wedge slices of mozzarella in between pasta shells.

Before Baking

8. Place sausage balls on top of the pasta and top with grated cheese.

9. Bake in oven for approximately 15 mins or until golden on top

Tasty Easy Dinner

 

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4 Responses to “Pasta Bake and the Art of Procrastination”

  1. Mel 24/10/2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Have three things to say and no way to make it a coherent comment, so I hope you don’t mind the bullet points:

    1. Well done on that mammoth undertaking! That is craziness but cool craziness.

    2. Agree on the ironing… I am terrible at it, sometimes after I “iron” something it looks worse…

    3. Not much a good pasta bake can’t cure, and that recipe sounds mighty good! Esp. love the addition of white wine & olives.

    • thelegaltart 25/10/2011 at 9:22 am #

      I don’t mind bullet points at all. If ironing doesn’t improve things, just skip it.

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 26/10/2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Well.. you see I don’t think this is really procrastination as you’re still working and producing something delicious! So I think that is to be encouraged! 😉

    • thelegaltart 26/10/2011 at 9:18 pm #

      Good way of looking at it. Enjoy the Yarra Valley.

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