People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I've Missed You, Too

So sorry I haven't been around....I didn't mean for my British vacation story to end where it did.  I have lots more to stay, but sadly life has gotten in the way. Big time.  I think things should calm down a bit after Easter, so I'll do my best to get back here with the next installment.

In the meantime, here's a repeat of a post from a couple of years ago, with an Easter favorite that we make every year:

Easter isn't Easter without Pastia

Pastia is a dish we make every Easter. I always thought my grandma made it up, but just this year I found another pastia recipe that was similar (although it was more of a dessert, sort of a pasta custard).

This is a side dish, but we make huge pans of it because everyone wants to take some home after dinner.

It's also a big mess to make, because you mix it with your hands.  I have to get everything all set up beforehand, because your hands and arms get all covered in goo and you can't touch anything else.

Even though this is full of raw eggs, I still taste it as I go along, but you really don't have to if you aren't comfortable with eating the raw egg. But really, it's got so much cheese and butter, you don't even notice the egg.

We slice it and eat it hot or cold. It's awesome right out of the oven, all warm and cheesy. But it's just as good later, right out of the fridge.

So here goes.....

(we pronounce this Ba-STEE-ya)

6 lbs pasta (I generally use some combination of Rigatoni, Penne, Fettucine, 
                  Bucatini or Perciatelli or Maccheroncelli, and Spaghettoni)
9 sticks butter
3 dozen eggs
24 oz of grated parmesan cheese
8 oz of grated romano cheese
Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta.  Be sure to salt the water well.  You can also put a small amount of oil into the water to keep the pasta from sticking.

Once the pasta is cooked, place all of it into a large pan or bowl on a table where you can reach down into the pan/bowl. (I actually use two pans because I don't have one big enough for the whole thing. I just put some of each pasta into each bowl.) Add 1 1/2 sticks of butter to each pound of pasta and mix through with a large utensil. Pasta will be very hot!

Allow the pasta to cook slightly and then add eggs a few at a time (about 6 eggs per pound of pasta). Just break them into the pasta bowl and mix with your hands. Add cheese (a little at a time) and continue mixing.

You are looking for a certain consistency, not too dry (which means too much cheese) or too wet (too many eggs).  Add salt and pepper as you go. It should seem like it's a little over seasoned for it to have enough taste once it's done.

Place the thoroughly mixed pasta into large lasagna pans (butter them first).  This recipe makes two lasagna pans full.

Sprinkle more grated parmesan and some grated black pepper on top.

Bake 375 for about an hour to 75 mins, til solid through and golden brown on top.