Monday, March 19, 2007

From the "Small World" Files

Last week I received a nice email from a lady named Barbara Marx telling me how she’d found La Cucina and enjoyed the recipes. That brought a smile to my face. She mentioned that she made Nana’s Tomato Salad to accompany a recipe she had been given for a Sformato di Cappellini. Incredibly, she is from New Mexico and the dinner she was preparing was for our former neighbors in Corrales, of all people! Bill and Irene lived across the road from us and are sweet people. Receiving the email made us reminisce about our village and neighbors.

How funny that Barbara searched the internet, found my recipe, noted I’m from the same state, and that we have common friends. Kinda cool, huh?

She shared her recipe so I’ml passing it along to you. She said she obtained it from Italian-in-America friend, Daniela Ford.

Sformato di capellini 6-8 people

1 # capellini
2 eggs, beaten
1 # Edam, mozzarella or similar well-melting cheese, finely cubed
1/4 # butter, plus butter for the round casserole baking dish
3/4 C gratred parmesan
1/4 # finely cubed boiled ham
S & P to taste...freshly ground

Generously butter the oven-proof casserole & cover the butter fully with bread crumbs...shake out the excess crumbs. Boil pasta in 6 qts of water, for about 3 minutes, keeping it/molto al dente/ since it will also bake in the oven. Melt the butter in large pan. Mix beaten eggs & grated parmesan with S & P, to taste. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Drain the pasta. Toss the pasta well in the melted butter, so that it is all coated with the butter. Add egg/parmesan mixutre & toss again to cover. Place half the capellini in the casserole, spreading it well to the edges. Scatter cheese & ham cubes evenly over the first layer, then cover them with the second half of the pasta. Spread pasta evenly, dot with flakes of butter & more breadcrumbs. Bake 40-45 min. til top bubbles & turns crispy on the top. Place serving platter up-side down on the casserole & upturn the two together to remove the pasta from the cassserole. ( I simply cut & served it from the baking pan.) Serve with a butter-based tomato sauce or Valerie's fresh tomato "salsa" recipe.

Thanks, Barbara!

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