I’ll try to keep this one brief, as you’ve already seen how I was supposed to have created a pasta bake only a few weeks ago. That didn’t turn out very well at all but I’m pleased to report that on my second attempt, with the halogen oven in situ, I was able to make a meal that was entirely edible.
So, one reason for writing this post is to commemorate myself on a successful achievement following an early-learning failure. But I’d also, I think it could be useful to document that it is entirely possible to cook a pasta bake in a halogen oven.
This was an occasion where I could observe how it can be important to reduce the average cooking times when using a halogen oven. I forget the exact details but for this bake, I think you’re instructed to cook for 25 minutes, stir and then to cook for a further 20 minutes. Basically, I cut that first cycle short by 5 minutes as I could see the pasta turning brown. It was very reassuring (this time) to see the ‘sauce’ thickening and later, burning and crisping around the surface.
Fitting it in to the oven was a bit tricky but that’s largely because I’ve been using an oval-shaped pie dish. Looking at some of my proposed recipes for the rest of this month, I can see a need for a circular, lidded casserole dish. They’re not expensive but, as something I touched on during my analysis of this oven; it would be advantageous to buy a clear dish. Again, this evening, I’ve become aware of the huge advantage in being able to see clearly the food you are preparing.
Without question, this meal was welcomed openly by my taste buds and senses over the initial liquid-like effort. But there was still something about the taste I did not like… A near ‘plasticity’ in the flavouring somewhere between the cheese and pasta… Perhaps this is to be expected from a recipe that is sold inside a jar? It was too much for me as a single serving so I refrigerated half and reheated the other to eat days later.
Before closing here, I must confess that I went a bit ‘manic’ in the supermarket last week… I always make a conscious effort to spend no more than £30 and, in recent months, that tariff has been reduced to £25 a week. Only on the odd occasion, have I crept too close to £35… But at the tail-end of last week, I somehow tip-toed over the £40 mark!!
It’s crazy! But I think what happened was that I’ve been getting a bit too ‘excited’ about all these possibilities and recipes I would like to recreate. So, instead of buying one or two week’s worth, I hand-picked enough items according to several shopping lists and then doubled it so that I can make my usual second attempt… Still, I managed to squeeze it all in to two of those large ‘green’ bags.
Thanks for reading and try not to buy any more than your stomach can handle! 😛