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Edward Bottone: Mac ‘n Cheese By Any Other NameEdward Bottone
Egg of My Heart
Great Cod Almighty
Mac ‘n Cheese By Any Other Name
Sandwiches and One Soup
With Olives


Mac ‘n Cheese By Any Other Name

Baked Creamy Rotini
Easy and rich.
for 4

1 lb rotini (gemelli, fuselli), in colors for fun
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 eggs
2 tbs flour
1/2 lb feta cheese (with black pepper even better), crumbled
1/4 cup pecorino romano, grated
3 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
1 tsp nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella, shredded

Cook the rotini in plenty of well salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well, reserving just less than a cup of pasta water.
Whisk together the cream, eggs and reserved water. Stir in the flour, feta, pecorino romano, hot sauce, nutmeg and black pepper to taste. Pile the pasta into a oiled casserole dish that you can also serve in. Pour the cream mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 ºoven for 35 minutes or until the mixture has set and the edges are golden brown. Enjoy immediately.

Greek Pastitsio
The perfect party dish, makes enough for 10 or more.

2 tbs good olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 medium onions, chopped
2 lbs stewing lamb, trimmed and minced or ground
salt and pepper to taste
one 28 oz tin of plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
cinnamon stick
1 cup red wine
1 cup tinned chicken broth (Swanson, College Inn)
2 tbs tomato paste
2-3 tbs fresh oregano
2 bay leaves
1 lb ziti

11/2 lb plain yogurt (Greek style), drained
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 lb kefalotyri or Manchego cheese, grated
1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 cup parmigiano, grated
1 cup bread crumbs

To make the meat sauce; sauté the onions and garlic gently in the olive oil. When they are soft add the lamb and cook stirring until the color has gone out of the meat. Season with salt and pepper and add the tomatoes, cinnamon stick, red wine and chicken broth, tomato paste, oregano and bay leaves and raise the heat. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Uncover and cook another half hour. Sauce should not be watery. (Can be done a day ahead.) Meanwhile cook the ziti in plenty of well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and yogurt, then add the cheese and nutmeg. Assemble the pastitsio in an oblong lasagna pan or glass oven proof dish by placing a bit more than half the pasta in the dish and sprinkle with a some grated parmigiano. Now put on all the meat sauce. Top with remaining pasta and top that with a generous sprinkling of grated parmigiano and finally the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle this top layer with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated 350 ºoven for 35 minutes until the top is crisp and golden brown. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Neptune’s Mac ‘n Cheese
Very upmarket; very irresistible.
for 4-6

1 lb gemelli pasta (or shells or bow ties)
1 small onion, minced
2 tbs unsalted butter
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup dark rum (opt.)
3 tbs flour
one 10 oz bottle clam juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salte and white pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces), grated
1/3 cup pecorino romano, grated
1 3/4- to 2-pound cooked lobster meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 oz fresh crabmeat, picked over
2 tbs fresh chives snipped
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Cook pasta in lots of well salted, boiling water until just al dente. Drain. Sauté onion in butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shrimp cook a minute and dark rum and ignite. Once flames have died, remove seafood (should be just opaque) with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add flour to the butter and rum, cook stirring for 4-5 minutes. Slowly add clam juice and cream, stirring to keep smooth, until sauce has thickened. Add tomato paste, paprika and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and white pepper. Add cheeses; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Fold together pasta, lobster, shrimp, crab and chives with sauce. Mound into individual casserole dishes (ramekins) or one bug one, sprinkle with bread crumbs, dot with butter. (Can be made ahead to this point and held.) Bake at 450º for about 20 minutes, until ligthly browned on top and bubbling.

A classic crowd pleaser that everyone should have in their repertoire. Make your red sauce ahead (or buy and enhance a good one) for ease of preparation.

2/3 of a 1lb box white lasagna noodles
a third of a 1lb box spinach lasagna noodles (save the rest for next time and reverse the colors)
2 lbs ricotta
4 eggs
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs mozzarella, sliced or shredded
3/4 cup grated pecorino romano or parmigiano cheese
4 cups Nice Red Meat Sauce (follows)

Cook the lasagna noodles in batches, in plenty of well-salted boiling water until just al dente. Rinse under cool water and set aside. Beat the eggs with the black pepper and mix them into the ricotta. Lightly oil a rectangular lasagna pan (13 X 19 in. at least)
Line the bottom of the pan with a double row of the white noodles allowing half the length on each side to overhang the pan (you’ll flip these over for the top layer later). Sprinkle the bottom layer with a little grated pecorino romano. Dot generously with half the ricotta mixture. Ladle on some of the red sauce to cover nicely. Top all with a profusion of mozzarella cheese. Now put an interlayer of green noodles and repeat the layering process: cheese-cheese-sauce-cheese. (Save some grated cheese, sauce and mozzarella for the top.) This done, flip over the overhanging noodles to make the top layer. Dust this layer with grated pecorino romano, sauce liberally and layer on the remaining mozzarella. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated 375 ºoven for 45 minutes until bubbling hot. If serving straight away, uncover and bake an additional ten minutes to brown the edges. If serving later, cool (even freeze), after reheating uncover and allow to brown the edges before serving. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving, it will still be plenty hot.

A Nice Red Meat Sauce
Meat can be omitted for vegetarians.

3 tbs olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 lb fennel sausage, casing removed, chopped
1/4 lb ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs dried oregano
1-2 tbs fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tbs fresh parsley, minced
freshly ground black pepper to taste
two 28 oz cans of Italian Plum Tomatoes (San Marzano if you can find them), seeded and chopped, save the liquid.

Sauté the meats in a tablespoon of the olive oil until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain off all but a tablespoon or so of the oil. Now add the remaining olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until just beginning to go golden on the edges. Add the herbs and ground pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Now add the reserved juices (straining out any seeds) bring to a boil, lower to simmer and allow to cook for 45 minutes.