Sunday, April 11, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Pasta Piselli, Anna Sultana's Ross il-forn (Baked Rice, Maltese Style)

Back to regular meals.  

One nice thing about Entertaining with The Sopranos is there are actually a few recipes you can use for an ordinary meal.  They're easy on the stomach and the budget and don't take too much time to prepare.

Pasta Piselli is a no-brainer.  Really easy.  Okay...  Carmela's back to tearing up fresh basil leaves, but parsley leaves can be used instead of basil.  You just need basic staple ingredients: onions, frozen peas, elbow macaroni, Romano cheese and 3 eggs, mixed together, served hot, all in one pot.  A comfort food. 

Almost like Chinese fried rice.

Speaking of rice, Ma's old budget favorite Ross il-forn is an all in one pot, comfort food.  I admit it takes more time to make than Pasta Piselli.  About an hour.  But, that's oven baking time.  

If you're having company and the chicken is looking a little small, you could whip this up to serve as a first course.  Or you can prepare Ross fil-forn and freeze it for an emergency meal to microwave when you're running late.

Ross il-forn is one of those 'what do I have in the house' recipes.  I've seen recipes calling for ricotta and others for milk.  Some are picky about the tomato sauce recipe and others allow you to use some leftover tomato sauce.  The chopped 2 or 3 rashers of bacon give it its distinctive flavor.

Basically Ross fil-forn is uncooked rice baked in a tomato meat sauce which has been mixed with something dairy and beaten eggs, then baked.  Fil-forn means baked.

I have to admit Carmela's recipe is quicker.  I'd make it again.  Especially in the summer, when I don't want to use the oven.

Another recipe down.  Sixty-seven more to go. 

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