I suppose I should introduce myself, my name is Donna, I am the author of The Slow Roasted Italian. I write a food blog that is a lot like my kitchen table in that it is filled with family, friends, great food and fabulous conversation. I love to cook, especially for my daughter Em who is the most finicky 18 month old ever and my husband Mr. W, a mid-western meat and potatoes man whose palette challenges me daily. I try to take my family on a culinary journey everyday, being a picky eater myself until recently, I want to explore the world of flavors together. I also love to tell stories about my family and friends and this journey we are all on. These things come together perfectly onThe Slow Roasted Italian.
When I was choosing a dish for my guest post I thought about what dishes Em really likes. Every day is different at this age, but cheese and pasta seem to always be a winning combination. So, today I made for you a fabulous baked pasta dish. I found the recipe in Fine Cooking. slightly adapted it. Although there is a lot of room for variation.
Em adores different pasta shapes so cavatappi seemed to make her happy. Use whatever makes your family happy, be it penne or fusilli or rotini. If you prefer use prosciutto or ham in place of the capocollo. The pecorino can be switched out for parmesan cheese. Such an easy dish that offers so much flavor and fun! Buon appetito!
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking.
Baked Cavatappi with Roasted Peppers and Capocollo (baked pasta with cheese and ham)
1 pint size jar of Red Roasted Peppers, drained
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
one 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
A few large sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped
1/3 lb. very thinly sliced capocollo, chopped
1-1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1 pound cavatappi (or fusilli or penne)
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cream, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Cook the cavatappi until al dente. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the grated Pecorino with the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper and add a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot. Add the pepper mixture and toss. Add the ricotta mixture and toss again, tasting for seasoning.
Pour the pasta into the baking dish. Top with an even coating of the breadcrumb mixture and a drizzle of fresh olive oil.
Bake uncovered until browned and bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve right away.
If you want to roast your own peppers, roast 3 to 4 peppers by turning them over the flame of a gas burner until the skins are charred or by putting them under a broiler, turning until all sides are well blistered. Peel off the skins, core and seed the peppers, and cut the flesh into thin strips.