I heard some terrible news earlier in the week, and later in the week it got much worse. My dear sweet blogging friend Monet - Anecdotes and Apple Cores told us her sister and nephew were in a car crash, her nephew was already gone. Her nephew was my daughters age, and all I could think about was, when her sister wakes up; how will she ever fill that huge hole that will be in her heart. Her sister unfortunately didn't wake up and now she is taking care of him in heaven.
Monet always inspires me with her beautiful writing - not to mention her soulful baking; I wonder if she even realizes what a gift she has. I wish I could be there to comfort her in person.
Hopefully this Mostaccioli recipe I'm dedicating to her will provide her a little comfort. I know when I need a hug in a bowl; this is the type of dish I reach for.
1 tbsp. Olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I like 1/2 tsp., but I'm kind of spicy like that.)
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
3 cups water
1 pound dried mostaccioli noodles
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat a 12" oven proof skillet to medium heat, add olive oil and garlic, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, and saute for 30 seconds or so until aroma is being released from the herbs. Add tomatoes, water and noodles, stir until combined. Bring to a boil on medium heat and put lid on pan.
Cook for 14 minutes, stirring half way through cooking time.
Remove from heat, add heavy cream and parmesan cheese and stir. Cover the top of the pasta with the mozzarella cheese.
Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, until cheese melts.
I adapted this recipe from one I saw on American's Test Kitchen. They said it was ziti, not what I was used to eating as ziti, but it was one heck of a great idea. One pan instead of two or three, I love that.