Friday, July 17, 2009

Last Night

The past few weeks have been very busy for me. I had some friends in town for the July 4th weekend, and I went to a wedding in San Francisco last weekend. There has been little time to do things like cook and go grocery shopping. This weekend is the first in a while that I will have time to whip up some nice new dishes for this blog. I will also be dog-sitting this pup for our friends that were just married and are now in Hawaii for the honeymoon:

Her name is Three Hole Punch, but she also goes by Punch and sometimes George Clooney.

On a not-yet-but-soon-to-be related note, apparently one of my two adorable nieces, Olivia, is becoming a chatterbox. I use the word "apparently" because sadly she lives across the country from me so I have to settle for stories at this point. My favorite of the new things I have been told she has started to say is when she says "last night". It is more about how she uses the phrase to describe anything that happened in the past, no matter how long ago it was, that is so cute and makes me laugh. I guess she just does not yet understand the concept of differentiating between times in the past. For example, she might say something like, "Last night, I painted a picture for Aunt Lindsey", even though this even took place about three weeks ago. It is in this same regard that I will say, "Last night, I made this delicious pesto spaghetti pie with sun-dried tomatoes on top." I am not sure how long ago it was that I made this recipe (it must have been back sometime before things got too busy around here), but as far as Olivia would be concerned, it was last night.

Last Night Four Cheese Pesto Bake:

(adapted from a Paula Dean recipe)

1 lb spaghetti (I like to use whole grain pasta), cooked al dente according to package instructions
8 oz ricotta cheese (you can use up to 16 oz, but I think the 8oz is plenty)
12 oz pesto sauce (you can use a little more if you like)
2 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1 C crumbled goat cheese
3/4 C sun dried tomatoes (in a jar with olive oil)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, goat cheese, parmesean, 3/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese, and pesto sauce.

Slowly add the spaghetti (about 1/4th of the pound at a time)to the bowl, mixing thoroughly, until the all of the pasta is coated heavily with the cheese and pesto blend.

Transfer mixture to a 9"x13" casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining shredded mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes evenly over top. Cover with foil to avoid burning the cheese on top during baking.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and turn oven up to broil for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Enjoy this as a nice heavy side dish to grilled chicken or as a vegetarian entree. I also like to serve it with some nice yellow summer squash on the side.

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