Sunday, February 26, 2012

BAKED RIGATONI WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS, BACON, CRANBERRIES, AND GORGONZOLA CHEESE



This is week 4 of the The Food Matters Project. Our host is Marcia  and she chose Mark Bittmans recipe for Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese.

I thought this combination sounded amazing. BUT...when I ran the recipe by some trusted foodies and my husband there was a major lack of enthusiasm.  It may have been the blue cheese with pasta that was the deterrent, or maybe just a crazy (interesting) combination of ingredients.

Hubby (Ron) mentioned that he liked bacon with his Brussels sprouts and no blue cheese please. So I did what any good wife would do....I made HERS...


AND HIS


For my dish I browned some bacon and set it aside. Then I chopped some Brussels Sprouts and browned them in some of the bacon fat. After cooking the rigatoni I combined it with the sprouts, bacon, dried cranberries and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.  Before baking it I mixed in some olive oil and a little pasta water. For "his" version, I left out the cranberries and Gorgonzola and mixed in grated Gruyere cheese. Baked it for a short time and then right before serving I topped it with chopped Marcona almonds.

The Verdict ?????

While "HIS" version looks more ooey-gooey-cheesy and decadent, "HERS" won!!!!  :) :) :)

We both loved the Gorgonzola-Cranberry-Bacon combination. And the chopped Marcona almonds on top were awesome. Marcona almonds used to be hard to find but I found some recently at Trader Joe's.

To see what everyone else working on this project made click here .

BAKED RIGATONI WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS, BACON, CRANBERRIES AND GORGONZOLA CHEESE

2 TBSP. olive oil
8 oz. rigatoni pasta
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, chopped
4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup dried cranberries
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Marcona almonds, chopped

Heat oven to 400~. Grease a 9 x 13 " baking pan with olive oil. Cook bacon until crispy and set aside, reserving the grease in the pan. Crumble the bacon.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente. Drain (reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water) and set aside.

Coarsely chop the Brussels sprouts and cook in the bacon grease until tender. In a large bowl combine the cooked sprouts, bacon, pasta, cranberries, and Gorgonzola cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the greased pan and add some of the pasta water (2 TBSP.), a little drizzle of olive oil, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Plate on serving dish and garnish with chopped Marcona almonds

Recipe adapted from The Food Matters Cook Book.

Original recipe can be found on  Twenty by Sixty Blog, our host Marcia.

16 comments:

Marcia said...

I love that you made a His and Hers... and that Hers won! This recipe is amazing in that it doesn't need much cheese at all to make it good (and I'm a cheese fanatic...). Looks delicious, Lexi!

Lexi said...

Hi Marcia, You are right...the recipe with less cheese was better. Great choice!

Margarita said...

I love the bacon addition and the dried cranberries! Looks absolutely delicious! His and Hers, awesome. :)

Rossie Schwartz said...

I love the his and hers idea! And I love gruyere! I wonder how it would taste with gruyere AND gorgonzola!? Too much? Maybe, I guess. Awesome job!

Jenn said...

The His and Hers is cracking me up! What a great wife :)

Joanne said...

You are too good trying to please everyone! But at least you got a fun taste test out of the deal. I'm glad to know that yours won!

Alyssa @ Everyday Maven said...

I love how this recipe is pushing all of our limits around food? It's awesome!

Lexi said...

Hi Margarita, Thanks! I loved the bacon in it (just a little) :)

Lexi said...

Hi Rossie, I don't think you can ever have too much cheese!

Lexi said...

Thanks Jenn, This recipe was just so perfect for his and hers.

Lexi said...

Hi Joanne,

Well, my version was better and I am so happy that he agreed.

Lexi said...

Hi Alyssa, This is such a fun project!

Kristen said...

You and I were thinking on the same page with adding bacon :) I love that you made a his and her version and I love even more that yours won!!! I loooved this too and can't wait to make it for my husband (he's out of town now). I hope he loves it as much as I did!

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits said...

Those cranberries sound like they would give a nice flavor boost, and you can't go wrong with gruyere.

Lexi said...

Hi Kristen, I bet your husband loves it as much as mine did.

Lexi said...

Hi Mireya, I loved the cranberries!