Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tomato and Artichoke Bake

Well, it seems like since I have so much tomato sauce, I should try to put at least some of it to use. Which might come in handy for people who buy pasta sauce and want something different to do with it. Additionally, by doing it this way, I have a convenient way to use up some of the other things that've been hanging out in the fridge and freezer. I'm doing really well with this freezer business.

Also, this worked out pretty well for me to be able to test out that new casserole dish from cookware.com. I have to say, they're pretty good at what they do. The day after my order was placed, it was shipped. Although the shipping email said it could take a couple weeks to get here, the dish was here before I got back from Chicago. Which means the maximum amount of time it could've taken to arrive is six days. Not bad at all! The company also makes sure to send you not only shipping information, but order verification. Some companies do one but not the other, and that annoys me. The entire time I waited for my order, I felt like they were really communicative and I didn't need to worry about it at all. The only gripe I have with the company, which I think most people wouldn't share with me, is that they do like to send some email updates with specials they're having. I think most people like that, but I personally am more into just going to the site in question when I want to investigate what deals they're offering. So that wasn't really a negative per se - just a negative for me personally. Oh, one other thing I noticed; although the casserole I got was much cheaper than it might've cost me in a store, it wasn't chipped or damaged in anyway. Sometimes when you buy really discounted stuff, you get the dregs of what the company makes, but that didn't happen here. Overall, I had a really good experience so I can recommend this website for painless, discounted buying of your favourite cookware.

The actually casserole dish is just awesome. It's exactly what I was looking for. The round shape makes it impractical for making baklava, since I'm just not the kind of talented that easily works around things like that. But it IS perfect for making sure that when I eat tuna casserole, every single serving will get some of the crusty top. Which also means I could do baked french toast or stratas without feeling like I'm sitting there eating piles of wet bread (which honestly makes me want to throw up). It'd be good for thinner lasagnas too. It has the neat advantage of being ovenproof, microwave proof and freezer safe. It's somewhat longer than I'd anticipated, so I'm losing a bit more storage space than I realised. However, since I have nothing that fits what this dish does, that loss of space is minimal when compared to how much more diversity I can produce in my cooking with just this one item. So thanks, cookware.com!

And now that brings me to the actual thing I christened the dish with. As I mentioned above, this extra food I didn't anticipate having is giving me the opportunity to branch out a little into things I wouldn't ordinarily make, and also gives people who do like to buy jars of pasta sauce and that kind of stuff an extra thing to do with it. I incorporated a good amount of the frozen veggies I also had, and of course some cheese. If you're a vegan, this is easily veganised either by deleting the cheese or by using some of that non-dairy cheese they make. If you're a vegetarian, this is already perfect for you. And if you like meat, I don't think you'll really notice it's missing, since it's a pretty hearty dish without it (though you could certainly use a meat sauce instead to add it in). Hope you enjoy!

1 pound penne or ziti, cooked according to package directions but about 2 minutes less
1 jar pasta sauce (I used mushroom and black olive)
1 cup each: frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen whole onions
7 ounces frozen cauliflower
1 can marinated (or not) artichoke crowns or hearts (if using crowns, quarter them)
1 - 1 1/2 cups cheese of your choice, shredded

Heat oven to 350F. Mix together pasta, sauce, peas, corn, onions, artichokes and cauliflower. Cover with foil and bake for one hour. Sprinkle cheese on top then bake another 15 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned. Serves 8.



2 comments:

  1. Ohhhh, Major YUM! :-) I love your new blog design, too!

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  2. Thanks, Astra! The major change I'd make would be to add about a tablespoon of salt (but I like more salt than anyone else on the planet).

    And thanks, regarding the new design! I figured it was time to brighten it up and get rid of the black theme on it. :)

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