My tastes have definitely evolved over the years. I wouldn’t say that I was a picky eater when I was a kid… but I’m sure my parents would disagree. I feel like we ate a lot of traditional American meals like pizza, tacos, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese, but I also feel like I ate some pretty gourmet food when I was a kid. Often times we’d have asparagus, artichokes, eggplant, steak, and crab legs. We certainly ate well. I’m lucky to have two parents that are such great cooks!
I remember hating avocados and guacamole because of their green color. What was I thinking?? I didn’t like beans, either; I’d always refuse to eat them – it didn’t matter what kind they were. Add mushrooms, cabbage, and hamburgers to the hate list, too.
Ah, I always did love pasta.
It’s just so funny to me now, because I love avocados, beans, mushrooms, cabbage, and hamburgers now. Actually, I just starting eating burgers a few years ago… and now I crave them. A few years ago I would have never eaten pig face, goat, and escargot at Girl & the Goat, and look at me now! That just goes to show you how your taste buds are always evolving.
I’m still not a huge fan of chili, but maybe someday I will be. I know how crazy everyone is about chili.
Is there a certain food that you love and everyone seems to hate? Ever since I was little, I’ve loved okra – especially fried. I have to eat it every few months because I start craving it.
A few years ago I worked in a deli and learned a lot about different cheeses. It was a cheese awakening. Before that, I hadn’t tried very many cheeses. Now I have all kinds of new favorites. I really love Bries, aged Goudas, goat cheese, and Italian cheeses like Burrata, Mascarpone, Taleggio, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
You haven’t lived unless you’ve chopped up an 85 pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. I used to have to stand on a stool to give me more leverage.
I can tell you without a doubt, there is definitely a difference between domestic parmesan cheese and authentic Parmigiano Reggiano. Parmigiano Reggiano has such an intriguing, nutty flavor. It’s SO good!
And it’s what I used to top my Baked Alfredo Rigatoni Pie. You might look at the pictures and think this recipe is complicated, but it’s definitely not. You just cook your rigatoni and line the pasta in a springform pan, then pour the sauce on top, followed by the cheese. The “pie” is baked for 30 minutes until golden brown, and that’s it! You’re seconds away from an incredible meal.
Baked Alfredo Rigatoni Pie
1 lb. rigatoni, cooked according to package instructions
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 (15 ounce) jar alfredo sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/4 cups finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray or oil.
Toss together cooked rigatoni and melted butter in a large bowl until combined. Stand the rigatoni up vertically in springform pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta, sour cream, alfredo sauce, garlic, salt and pepper until well combined; pour mixture on top of rigatoni. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Remove outer ring from pan, and cool pasta at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings