Post Party Pasta or Nigella's Rigatoni Al Forno
I've added another entry to Cooking for Children: Birthday Party Food, so check out tankeduptaco's Flourless Chocolate Cake. I have to say that I don't agree with Nigella Lawson's proclamation that children only care about icing. They deserve decent cake too! But I took a leaf (or recipe rather) out of Ms Lawson's Feast during the birthday celebrations, and cooked up Rigatoni Al Forno. She says that this is excellent for soaking up the booze and that she prefers it to lasagne - though it has the same basic sauces, you escape the tedious layering.
You whip up a jugful of white sauce and make a slow cooked meat sauce (2 hours cooking time minimum). The meat sauce contains 2 cups of red wine (I used shiraz cabernet) and I found the taste too dominant. Figman however, loved it. But when (yes, decidedly when) I make this again, I intend to substitute a cup of passata for half the wine and if I were serving it to children, I'd probably cut the wine altogether.
So the sauces were made on the morning of said party and popped aside. I even managed to grate (double) the cheese beforehand, so all I had to do during the tail end of the festivities was boil the water, cook the pasta, mix, sprinkle and bake. Supposedly the recipe serves sixteen. I had doubts about my biggest roasting dish and also the numbers for dinner, so I only cooked (only!) a kilo of rigatoni. It should have been 1.5 kilos. And when I swirled the sauces in and tipped it into the roaster, I scooped out a couple of bowls as I was petrified that it would bubble over during cooking. Even so, and despite being 2/3 of the recipe and in the biggest dish you could imagine jamming into my oven, it still bubbled over! I was cleaning bits out of the bottom of the oven today. Just so you can see how giant the dish was, I present ...
I have to put it on an angle even to get it INTO the oven. But the rigatoni was pretty good. Figman told me not to give up making lasagne, but I must admit, this is a lot easier. Girls went to bed while the boys stayed up eating more and more pasta and watching random bits of the World Cup.
Picture of meaty goodness inside (though that sounds like an ad for a pie!).
And I know this isn't a sport blog but speaking of the football AUSTRALIA V JAPAN - THREE - ONE! THREE - ONE!!!!! There are some things worth staying up till 3am for. Though I don't recommend stuffing your face with leftover rigatoni al forno while you do!