Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cool Weather Cooking

In my last post I spotlighted Sarah Leah Chase's "Cold-Weather Cooking" cookbook. We had a soul satisfying warm mushroom salad which is a great starter salad for a winter's evening or it could stand alone for a simple dinner just adding a nice chunk of crusty bread, a piece of cheese, and of course a glass of wine.

Another soul satisfying dish from Sarah is her "Poverty Casserole". The inspiration for this dish came to Sarah while she was living in her drafty apartment above her shop "Que Sera Sarah" during a winter evening. Instead of going out and purchasing ingredients for a dinner she used what she had in her pantry. I myself can attest to that, as I am sure you can too. You know, those evenings where you have been so busy all day that you have not even thought of dinner and when you arrive home you think "what am I going to eat"! So "Poverty Casserole" is the dish! Following in her steps, this is my adaption of a satisfying casserole. I like to call it "Poverty Pasta"!

A few tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 lb. of ground turkey
8 whole sundried tomatoes packed in oil and minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 good tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 large bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
About 12 ounces of penne pasta
2 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Heat your oil in a medium size skillet and add the onions and garlic till soft.
Stir in the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks until all the pink is gone.
Add all of your dried herbs and bay leaf, stir and then add the sundried tomatoes, and your can of tomatoes. Let these simmer for about 15 minutes so all the flavors meld.
Cook your pasta al dente and drain.
Whisk the eggs and cream together in a large bowl. Quickly add your pasta and toss, then add your meat mixture, stir to combine. Fold in 1-1/2 cups of your mozzarella cheese.
Take your pasta mixture and put it in an oven proof casserole, top with remaining mozzarella and then the Parmesan.
Bake until the cheese is melted and all is bubbling hot, about 30 minutes.

This is a wonderful comfort food for your "Cold-Weather Cooking"! And of course, serve it with a glass of your favorite red wine!



Peter M said...

Deb, this reminds me of Penne Arrabiata, I love the gooey mozzarella here.

Unknown said...

I chuckled at the "cool weather" title because it was so beautiful and warm in Key West (the 4 hours we were there), and when I returned north to TN it was 7F. LOL! :) The term "cool weather" is relative.

Anyway, I love the Poverty Pasta! It looks good and hearty, and perfect for the cold weather.

Anonymous said...

I would never feel poor eating this dish. And of course, the can you feel deprived?

Wendy said...

I always crave pasta when it's cold. Actually, I always crave pasta!

Truffle said...

I love the combination of herbs. Sounds so hearty and delicious!

Nora B. said...

greetings from Sydney! :-)

Your poverty pasta sure looks comforting. I think I will make it in any kind of weather just because it's something that doesn't require much kitchen time. I can enjoy my wine while the oven does the cooking!

I am very curious about the climate in Key West. How long does it stay cool where you live?

Gloria Baker said...

Debs this looks yummy,yummy!! and I love this type of pasta!

winedeb said...

Hi Peter, gooey cheese is one thing I love about baked pasta.

Yes Lannae, I cannot really complain about the weather here! The definition of cool takes on a different meaning here!

Hey Maryanne, congrats on your winning photo!

Hi Wendy, mee too! Have it at least once a week!

Hi Truffle, yep you are right. A very savory dish indeed!

Katie Zeller said...

I do believe I want this book! After all the recommendations for new reading I've gotten this week Amazon is going to have to send a private truck with my next order.
BTW, are you familiar with ALIBRIS?
If you are looking for an out of print book you can list it with them and when it's found they'll notify you and ask if you want it. It's an organization of private book sellers...
Kind of like Hay-on-Wye of the internet...