Sunday, October 14, 2012

Good Bye and Hello + Pasta Al Forno Recipe

I make most of what we eat from scratch. That means I spend a lot of time at my stove. About two months ago the oven stopped working properly. I figured this out when not once, but twice I lit the stove, went over to the counter besides it to prep the food and was startled when there was a Hollywood Back-Draft sound and the door to the oven was blown open by the force of a fireball igniting. It was a bit scary. It turned out that some part of the burner that provides the fire had worn out and shrunk, so of. The gas control was releasing the gas, which was building up in the cavity of the oven and once the igniter kicked it, we got a fireball. Wooooo!

Having a service agreement, I called Sears and set up an appointment. A great repair guy showed up and happily ordered the parts. Later we came to find that one of the parts was on back order. For the last two months I've been without an oven because we could not get the piece needed to fix the oven.

Sears finally offered a solution. They were not sure when (of if) the repair part could be secured, so they offered to transfer the service agreement and a credit of $500 towards a new stove. I had mixed feelings about that. It was a generous offer, but I really love my stove. However, with no real prospects of getting it repaired, we came to the decision to get a new range. After looking at what our options were, we picked one. It was delivered today. It is great to be able to cook things again. I had no idea how often I used the oven. I am thrilled to have a fully functioning oven again, though I was sad to see the old one go. That stove and I whipped up lots of yummy food together.

Now I have a stove top with five burners, a special, custom grill and the option to cook with convection.

Pasta Al Forno
via: Heather Likes Food

1 1/2 lbs mild italian sausage
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 (4 oz) stick butter
1/2 C + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 C whole milk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
pinch nutmeg
1 lb dry rigatoni, cooked
2 C mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Brown sausage until cooked through and drain off excess fat. Stir in tomatoes and garlic and bringto a simmer. Cook covered on low for at least 30 minutes, longer if time allows. Stir in basil justbefore assembly.

2. Make the bechamel by melting butter in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir the flour into the butter, adding more flour if needed to create a toothpaste-like consistency. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

3. Using a whisk, stir in milk and continue to stir until it comes to a boil and is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt and nutmeg.

4. In a large casserole dish (9x13" or bigger) place half of the pasta followed by half of the tomato sauce and bechamel. Top with 1 C of mozzarella cheese.

5. Repeat the layering one more time with the remaining ingredients.

6. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is browned.

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