Thursday, September 11, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Rigatoni Pizzaiola (Rigatoni, Pizzamaker's Style)

There was a frost warning last night.
Some folks pulled out spare blankets and tucked in their plants.
Others figured the weather is just going to get worse and pulled up everything that would be at risk.

If you’re a puller, you now have a produce department’s worth of veggies in your basement.
Okay… It's time to cook some for dinner.
Ma’s Rigatoni Pizzaiola would be perfect for using some of the tomatoes.

Don’t get excited about the Pizzaiola part.
Pizzaiola means Pizzamaker's Style.
Don't confuse the kids.
It just means covering something with tomato sauce and cheese.

I explained what to do on the post Carmela Soprano’s Bistecca Pizzaiola.
Pizzaiola also works with fish, as in Carmela Soprano's Baccala Pizzaiola.
And with potatoes - try Carmela Soprano's Patate Alla Pizzaiola.


Rigatoni is a large elbow macaroni, cut in 3 inch lengths.
That's a fair sized chunk of starch.
It can hold its own with the cheese and tomatoes.
Don’t have rigatoni, but do have ziti or penne?  No problem. 
Even elbow macaroni will do in this recipe.

Only cooking for two and don’t want leftover rigatoni?
Carmela had two recipes using rigatoni:
Carmela Soprano's Rigatoni with Broccoli
and


Hints:

About the seasonings - make it as spicy or mild as the family likes.
Prefer grated Romano cheese?  No problem.

You’ll need 4 Cups of tomato sauce.
Just remember it takes about 2 1/2 hours to make.
But it can be prepared the day before.


                        Rigatoni Pizzaiola

Serves 6

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
Add
1 pound rigatoni
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
Drain the pasta.


WHILE THE PASTA IS BEING COOKED:

Preheat oven to 375º

Place in a 9 x 13 inch pan
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
Sprinkle over the tomatoes
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove half of the tomatoes and set aside.

Over the tomatoes place
2 Cups tomato sauce

Place the pasta over the tomatoes in the pan.

Over the pasta place
1 Cup tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 400º

Sprinkle over the sauce
1/2 Cup olives, sliced
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pound mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 Cup tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon oregano
the remaining half of the baked tomatoes
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with a green vegetable, such as Ma’s green bean salad.
Oh, some nice crusty bread would be good, too.

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