I love Christmas Eve, since we always celebrate with my brothers and sister at my brother Ron’s house, and we all bring a dish to share for dinner. In the middle of prepping my dish, I started to get hungry and decided to make something for lunch. But what?
Since I hadn’t really planned anything, I just checked the fridge and came up with a recipe on the fly. Had some mushrooms and grape tomatoes on their last legs, half a red onion I wanted to use up, some lovely pasta and two nice chunks of cheese, only one of which I was sure was Asiago.
The dish came out so delicious I actually sat down and wrote it down right away. Here is the recipe, in stages.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and start by roasting the tomatoes, since that takes the longest.
1 package grape tomatoes
little olive oil
salt and pepper – just a good pinch of each
Put grape tomatoes in a small baking pan and roll them in the oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for quite a long time, (maybe 30 minutes?) until the tomatoes have collapsed a bit and there is a nice caramelized smell. No need to stir them or mess with them at all.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 packages sliced baby portabella mushrooms
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Add onions, peppers and seasonings and saute for a few minutes, until onion is softened. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their water. But don’t stop – keep cooking, stirring once in a while until the the water has dried up again. Turn off the heat.
At the same time, bring a pot of salted water to boil and add 3/4 pound of any kind of pasta and cook to al dente. Drain the water and add the pasta to the veggies.
Check the tomatoes and if they’re softened, scrape them and any juices into the veggies.
Turn the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the pasta pot back on the burner.
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp flour
/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
good pinch red pepper flakes
good pinch garlic powder
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup some other shredded cheese – maybe it was a White Cheddar?
Melt butter in pasta pot and add flour, stirring well for a few minutes. Stir in the seasonings, then add in the chicken stock. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce is thickened a good bit, then add the shredded cheese, holding back 1/4 cup for later.
Stir until everything is nice and creamy and check the seasonings. Pour into skillet with veggies and pasta and stir gently. Top with reserved cheese and pop back into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is browned just a bit here and there.
Let sit for a couple minutes and serve. Soooo good!