Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Study in Contrasts

I've mentioned before that my husband and I rarely eat the same dinners. He's a "hamburgers on Monday and Thursday, Chicken on Tuesday, Fish on Friday" kind of guy.

I'm more like whatever inspiration hits.

Rarely do our tastes intercept.

For example, I made this absolutely delicious fish salad dinner last week. He had hamburger. Again.

Or the salmon pie I had while he had chicken pot pie. Note: I used to love chicken pot pie, but I can't eat chicken.

The one dish we do share a taste for is baked rigatoni. I'm not a huge fan of Baked Ziti, but change those baby zitis for big, hunky rigatonis, and I'm right there.

I don't know why except that you can really sink your teeth into rigatoni - especially when cooked al dente.
I also sauteed some spinach with garlic.

I used a simple Barilla sauce, some ground beef, rigatoni, and lots of cheese. It turned out to be sooooo delicious. And I had some leftover for lunch!

If the salad interests you, I used my Sweeties (remember last year when I discovered them?), some pomegranate arils.

Since there were some questions about how rigatoni compare to ziti, here are comparative photos.


  1. So if you and your husband both have different meals does that mean you are both fighting for kitchen space at the same time? That wouldn't work in my wee little kitchen. LOL

    I love when you talk food cause you make it sound so exotic. I don't even know what zita is but rigatoni is pasta so I'm thinking zita is too. LOL

    I'm aching for fresh grown produce to put in a salad these days. I got some peppers from the grocery store and they were awful -- tasted like frozen bitter water. Yuck. The only thing I can think of us that they were picked too early and froze on the journey up here. So I've been sticking to more local friendly veggies that winter well like parsnips and turnips and squash -- not in salads though.

    1. We have the same problem with produce, Kav. It's hard to get good quality fresh veggies in the winter because of the distance the trucks have to travel to get here.

      So I stick to frozen or winter veggies, like the parsnips, etc. Rutabagas, too. They go so well in soups!

    2. We're extremely lucky with produce. I have a number of markets to choose from that have fresh produce. Some of it is actually grown locally in rooftop greenhouse gardens, so local and very fresh!

      Kave, I'm laughing at your assumption that my husband makes his own meals. Um, the hamburgers - yes. But only because he doesn't want to wait for me to get home from work. The others - I'm cooking.

  2. The rigatoni looks so easy and delicious! And I think I have all of the ingredients in my pantry...except I have penne instead of rigatoni. Not quite the same pasta experience, but the flavor should be the same, right?

  3. Jan, the penne makes it more like baked ziti. As far as I can tell, the only difference between penne and ziti is on has straight edges (ziti) and one is cut on the diagonal - penne.

    So yes, the flavor will be fine. I just prefer the rigatoni because they make for a chewier, heartier dish. I feel they stand up to the sauce and cheese better. But I've done baked penne or ziti for years.

  4. Your rigatoni reminds me of my baked ziti. I use penne, but not much because I like a higher meat ratio (I usually use sweet Italian sausage). Then I add jarred pasta sauce, some mozzarella and Parmesan and call it yummy.

    I guess I'm not that familiar with rigatoni, but might have to give it a try.

    1. Mindy, it's exactly like baked ziti, but with rigatoni instead.

      I'd say rigatoni are 2 - 3 times the size of a ziti noodle.
      I'm going to add a picture to the original post to show the comparison.

  5. I tend to use penne as well for baked pasta. But I"ll be sure to try the rigatoni next time! I do like a nice chewy bite to my pasta.