It's time to play catch up on all our favorite dishes now that Big Guy and I are no longer doing the long distance thing - well kinda'. He's out of town this week and returns on Monday at which point I'll be throwing out the luggage, hiding the car keys and exchanging his "Dockers" for "Dickie's"...for good!
There's also no doubt I'll be whipping up more of his favorite dishes like the baked pasta we enjoyed last week. If you're a regular follower of JBug's Kitchen Antics, this may seem slightly familiar to you as we've enjoyed a version of it before in the form of gnocchi swimming in a hearty Italian meat sauce with a cap of creamy bechamel. We've also used nice sturdy tubes of Rigatoni, utterly fabulous for soaking up all that sauce and we've even had it with silly frilly Radiatorre, though I have to say while it tastes the same, it's not quite as good as it is with a heartier pasta.
This time I used a purchased cheese ravioli from the refrigerator section at our local market (Butoni) along with a few cups of leftover Bolognese I found hiding in the freezer. Nestled into a casserole dish and topped with a quick oh so creamy rich and nutmeg flavored never fail me ever bechamel sauce, it's a combination guaranteed to elicit a hearty "Molto bene, grazie" from your resident Italian wannabe.
Throw in a little grated Italian cheese blend as a garnish, a crispy fresh green salad and garlic toast hot from the oven and I know for a fact your wannabe will be too busy eating to say much of anything. That's what happened here. Just sayin'.
Baked Rigatoni with Béchamel and Italian Meat Sauce (a creation from JBug’s Kitchen)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 cups grated Romano cheese
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes until roux is slightly golden in color. Whisk in milk and seasonings and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in grated Romano cheese.
10 oz package cheese ravioli, cooked per package directions and well drained
Crushed dried chile peppers
Grated Italian 3 Cheese Blend as garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a casserole or gratin dish with cooking spray. Mix cooked pasta with béchamel and transfer to prepared casserole dish. Top with meat sauce. Sprinkle with crushed dried chile peppers and 3 cheese blend. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until casserole is bubbling hot. Serves 4 to 6.
A year ago - Baked Orange Stuffed French Toast
Two year's ago - Strawberry Rhubarb Upsidedown Cake