June 17, 2016
Comfort Food, Side Dishes, Dairy,
Pasta, Italian, North American, 5-Minute Prep, Budget-Friendly, Easy/Beginner Cooking, Kid Pleaser, Fall/Autumn, Potluck, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Oven Bake, Stove Top, Vegetarian, Herbs, Kosher Dairy more
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"This is a fantastic, but rich and decadent side dish; and, it's more of a casserole, then just your 'every day' pasta dish. This is one of these good comfort food dishes; that, really goes with just about anything. It's also a great dish to take to pot lucks and BBQ's as well."
Cracker Crumbs ... You can use a food processor; but, I just add the crackers to a plastic or ziploc bag and crush them - much easier. I usually use my meat mallet; but, a rolling pin or even the bottom of a pot works just as well. Add the melted butter to your crushed crackers in a small bowl; and mix until combined.
Pasta ... Cook the pasta according to package directions, in plenty of salted water. Remove the pasta a couple a few minutes before package directions; reserving some of the pasta water (about 1 cup). The pasta should still be al dente - but, it will continue to cook in the oven.
Sauce ... As the pasta cooks; prepare your sauce. Add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes to a saute pan (sprayed with a non-stick spray) on medium heat; and, saute just a minute or two, until they begin to soften. Then, add the cream (light and heavy); and, bring to just under a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Eggs ... Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the beaten egg yolks, along with the mustard; and, whisk until combined. Once the cream has reduced; slowly add the cream, a little at a time to the eggs, while continuing to whisk. This is called tempering. Continue to add a bit more cream until the eggs have warmed up; then, you can then add the remaining cream to the eggs. This tempering will prevent the egg from scrambling.
Once the eggs and cream are combined; pour the sauce over the pasta; add the dill and chives; and toss to combine. If the pasta seems a bit dry; add some of the pasta water. I usually use about 1/2 cup of the reserved water to mine.
Bake ... Add 1/3 of the cracker crumbs to the bottom of a casserole dish; lightly prepared with a non-stick spray. I used a 10x12 oval dish. Then, add the creamy pasta; and, finish with the remaining cracker crumbs mixed with the parmesan cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes, in a 350 degree oven, covered; then, turn on the broiler; and finish uncovered, another 3-5 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Serve and ENJOY! ... Garnish with the parsley. A delicious pasta side dish. It's not fancy; but, it is sure good comfort food.
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