Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yummy Pizza Pasta Recipe

Well, Christmas day has come and gone. It was a very quick and enjoyable time for my family. We all had so many things to be thankful for - good health and healing for our family members, two beautiful little boys in our family, visits from children that live in another state, great food and company, relatives that really get along and enjoy each other's company, and a nice warm house. Whew! I don't know about you, but I was tired today. This snowstorm was a welcome relief for me because it forced me to slow down and just enjoy my day doing nothing. I actually relaxed most of the day on the recliner and fell asleep for a good part of the afternoon! It felt so good! It was a feeling of contentment that all of the holiday preparations were completed and now the new year will be beginning. While I was relaxing, my husband, Chet decided to treat me to one of his fabulous cooking creations. He is a very good and creative cook. He just heads to the kitchen, sees what is in the refrigerator and starts cooking. You never really know what will come out of that kitchen but it is always something really good! Today it was what I named his Pizza Pasta. Oh my gosh, it was so yummy I had to share this recipe with you. I will warn you that it is not lowfat. But, a splurge now and then is okay. Your family will love this dish. Serve it up with a green salad (that is the healthy part) and just enjoy this wonderful dish! Bon Appetit!

Chet’s Pizza Pasta (named b/c it tastes just like pizza but better!)
This is NOT a low-fat dish but every now and then when you want to splurge you will really enjoy this!
2 boxes Pasta Roni shells & white cheddar
3 large shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes (fresh and coarsely chopped)
1 pkg. grated 3 cheese blend, 8oz.
8 oz. ricotta cheese
4 crumbled slices of cooked bacon (or I use the crumbled bacon in the bag that I keep in the freezer)
¼ C. olive oil
2 tsp. butter
½ C. milk
1 tbsp. tomato paste
4 tbsp. red pesto with sun-dried tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
In large saute’ pan, saute’ shallots, garlic, tomato paste and tomato pesto in ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tsp. butter.  Add ground pepper and cooked bacon and tomatoes.  Cook until shallots are translucent.
In another pot, boil macaroni shells until al dente’.  Drain shells and add cooked pasta to saute’ pan with other ingredients already in the pan.  Add two packages of special seasonings from Pasta Roni to this mixture.  Add ½ cup milk to thin out and cook until heated through. 
Transfer mixture to greased baking pan.  We used a 11 X 11 pan, approximately with 2 inch high sides, Corningware.  Add grated 3 cheese, folding into mixture.  Using a tablespoon drop the ricotta cheese randomly into the mixture. 
Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until nicely browned and bubbly. 

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