Great Vegetarian option..Light first course or main course & Children love it! Best if you use fresh ingredients, but can substitute fresh tomatoes for canned. Ive been making this dish for years. This is my modified version to my aunts in Sicily (Italy),who had shown me. Its been a huge hit & requested regularly at dinner parties or at a busy family day visit! Hope you enjoy.
Blanch and peel tomatoes. ( Score tomatoes,place into simmering hot water till skin starts to split..then remove and put into chilled water to help remove the skin.)
Dice tomatoes into chunks, removing half the seeds.
In a well heated non stick pot, add the olive oil and then add diced brown onion. Stir and cook till transparent. Then add garlic & parsley, stir and add diced tomatoes, salt,pepper to taste and simmer to cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile melt butter in a pot and add flour and pinch of nutmeg, stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually add 500mls of milk,while continually stirring and trying to avoid any lumps. Return to heat and continue stirring till thickens. Add additional 100mls of milk slowly, to obtain a runnier consistancy,preferably similar to a thick gravy or runny custard. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and two tablespoons of the grated cheese,stir well.
Prepare your work area with individual bowls of your ingredients.
In a large deep dish, baking tray, spread a light layer of tomato sauce to the base.
Then add enough pasta to almost cover the bottom.
Spoon large dollops of Ricotta to scatter over the layer of pasta. Then sprinkle 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese to layer and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese, and if adding optional fetta, a few small dollops sparingly to layer.
Slowly drizzle bechamel in a zigzag manner to coat pasta layer or if thicker,spoon to lightly cover.
Add just the odd dice of tomato from the sauce to highlight some colour and then top with another layer of pasta.
Continue to layer tomato,then cheese's and pasta until almost to the top of the baking tray and finish with small tomato dollops for colour,drizzled bechamel and sprinkled parmesan.
Cover with aluminium foil, spraying the foil with non stick cooking spray to help avoid sticking to top of pasta.
Bake in a oven at 180c or 160c fan forced for 35-45mins or until pasta cooked through. You will notice pasta has grown so it will cooked. Lower heat and brown top for 5 mins or so. Remove from oven, return cover to pasta and let sit for 10mins then cut into square portions and scoop out into a pasta dish and garnish.
You can use less than a 500gm pack of pasta,as you may have left over semi cooked pasta, I suggest a reputable brand as some shell pasta breaks very easily even when par-cooking it.
You may also use extra peeled tomato can to ensure you have ample sauce. This dish is not to be saucy, but well coated so it has ample moisture. Oven temperatures vary according to different ovens. You can use less shredded cheese if you choose to,as its a ricotta pasta,but it will lessen flavour a little. I add Fetta at times, more for adults than children.
You will,after cooking this the first time, adjust it to your tasting..ie,more or less tomato concasse'.
Garnish with Fresh Basil leaves or shredded parley.
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» 37m ago
Step 6: Conclusions Now you're finished! A professional looking canvas at a very low cost. Here's a few notes that might help as well. If you are stretching a lot of paintings at once, it might be easier to cut all the wood at once but just make sure to keep the pieces together. If your painting is especially large then a cross brace or two may be necessary to create a strong frame. It is a matter of preference but generally if the painting is larger than 3 feet across then a cross brace would be a good idea. For this simply use a 1” x 2” strip cut square and staple it (on both sides of the frame) in the center. The should not be used for the brace pieces. Good luck with framing!
» 4h ago
Step 5: Stretch the Canvas Now you are finally ready to stretch the canvas. To do this lay a piece of paper down on a clean surface, and then the painting face down. Line up the frame so that the molding is against the canvas. To stretch this pull one side of the canvas up and around and staple it in the center of that side. Next take the canvas pliers, stretch the canvas on the opposite side and staple in the center. Although this can be done alone, a second pair of hands might make this step a little easier. Flip the painting over and make sure that it lines up properly with the frame. If it does you can begin stapling the rest of these sides. On the one side of the sides with a staple in it, place two staples, approximately 2”-3” on either side of the center staple while stretching the canvas. Do the same on the opposite side of the painting. Continue to work your way outwards towards the corners, until there you are about 1” from the corner. Next repeat this process along the other two sides of the painting, stretching the canvas tight. When you have completed this you can fold the corners of the painting as you would a present and staple them to the strip in the back. It is a matter of preference if you want the folds on the top and bottom or sides of you painting but being consistent will make them look better.
» 4h ago