Stuffed Shelly Long Bake

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After spending the last few days catching up with the current shining stars of television – hey there current nominee Christina Applegate, and rising stars Riz and Tatiana! – I decided Emmy Gold: Golden Family needed some gravitas in the form of some TV royalty. So I picked up the phone and invited myself over to celebrate Shelley ma’ fuckin’ Long.

While yes, she is still working hard with killer runs on Modern Family and less recently – and my favourite – playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch movies, her Emmy winning turn as Diane in Cheers is truly the stuff of TV legend.

I mean, her and zaddy Ted Danson’s will-they-won’t-they romance is enough to flood my basement even now.

Obviously Shell was honoured to finally get the call up to appear on this patch of cyberspace and introduce herself to a new audience. While our relationship started out quite rocky thanks to the meddling ways of the morally corrupt Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman – the saint that she is – was able to sit us down, make us see sense and finally end our feud in 1987 before Shelley departed Cheers.

Did I mention I was a featured barfly in Cheers? Because I was.

Anyway, given she starred in one of the most iconic comedies of all time, I got her to help me run the odds for Outstanding Comedy Series, hoping that this category provides a well-deserved surprise slash great return on gambling investment. While Veep, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag are generating the most chatter to take out the win, this is the category that I could honestly make a case for every nominee taking it out. Russian Doll was bold and moving, The Good Place is the greatest exploration of morality ever committed to screen and Schitt’s Creek is a remarkable show filled with hope and joy.

While my heart wants Schit’s Creek to take it out and Shelley thinks The Good Place deserves it, I think it will go to Fleabag. But given Schitt’s has the worst odds, am betting it all on them for a good return on investment. While Shelley tried to suggest I go for a safer bet, I didn’t listen and drowned out her wise words by smashing a big Stuffed Shelly Long Bake.

 

 

There is nothing better than pasta … except kitsch foods, so using that logic, this baby is the holy grail. Large shell pasta bake full of rich, creamy spinach and cheese floating through a sea of spicy tomato sauce like the SS Noms? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Shelly Long Bake
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked per packet instructions
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
250g spinach, roughly chopped
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
a small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach, remove from heat and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the residual heat has wilted the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Once the onion, garlic and spinach are pretty much tepid, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble, pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and stir through the chilli flakes. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place randomly in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pasta and/or cheese is all used up.

Dot with any remaining cheese mixture, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Or until gloopy and glorious.

Leave to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring. Triumphantly like an icon.

 

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Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland

Main, Pasta

I can not tell you how much it has meant to me having Kelly over to help celebrate our momentous milestone. While we haven’t caught up in the last few years – despite her working in Australia – having a special friend over to mark the occasion meant the world to me.

As you know, I’ve been a dear friend of the Children of Destiny all my life. First connecting with Bey through fight club and then mentoring her, Michelle and Kelly to greatness. After voting the rest of the children off the island that it Destiny’s Child, in a move that inspired The Lord of the Flies.

While Bey is the biggest star of the trio, I’ve always had a soft spot for dear Kelly and when she called begging me to help her make the transition to film like Bey almost two decades ago, I jumped at the chance.

My time as a teen manager wasn’t very successful however, and despite owning Freddy vs. Jason, I couldn’t guide her career how it needed and we parted ways creatively. Which is the one time it didn’t lead to a personal break-up as well.

I assume because we always loved to spend time together and heal over a hearty, glorious Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland.

 

 

This may not be the most dignified or classy dish, but I am genuine when I say that it is one of my favourites. I don’t know why baked beans, sausages, capsicum, bacon, onion and pasta go so well together, but they do. And as such, this is the best way I know to celebrate a milestone as big as 1000 celebrity visitors.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland
Serves: 8-10.

Ingredients
1kg thin sausages
500g spiral pasta
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 rashers streaky bacon, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum, diced
800g canned baked beans
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the sausages in batches for about ten minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Reduce heat to low and in the same skillet cook the onion, garlic and bacon for about five minutes or so, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

To assemble, cut the sausages into 1cm lengths and place in a large, deep baking dish with the drain pasta, bacon mixture, capsicums, baked beans, tomato paste and half the parsley. Stir until well combined, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and all of the cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Devour immediately, grateful that you’re now in on the secret of the greatest dish of all time.

 

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Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood

Main, Pasta, Poultry, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Lisa’s epic 3-2-1 caused chaos for Tess and Adam’s friendship as the former raged against the latter for voting for her as he assumed there was no hope. Thankfully all was forgiven after she won the reward challenge and shared it with Adam, moving past the (technically unsuccessful) slight and turning their attentions to getting Lisa – aka the undisputed queen and actual threat – out of the game. Sadly for them Dave and Tara held strong and sent Zadam from the game, and the queen stays queen, so to speak.

Back at camp Tess was once again feeling the sads upon her return from tribal council, though since she lost her best friend slash closet ally I’ll give her a pass. Everyone joined to discuss the massive blow up between Adam and Lisa at tribal, with Lisa concerned that it will cost her the game and Tess hopeful that despite being blindsided week after week, Adam’s influence on the jury will hand her an undeserved win. And since they keep hyping what is happening at the Jury Villa, me thinks it may tragically come to fruition.

The next day Dave worked to gut a fish and I am honestly struggling to keep down my dinner, so I’m glad we quickly pivoted to see Lisa. Well until she spoke about the fact she is shocked people are trusting her. This was followed by Tess talking about being confident in her chances of swaying Tara or Dave to her side, and Tara talking about being disappointed that Lisa has lied to her … and now I want to vom at the thought of Queen Lisa not winning.

Before I can actually blow chunks – which I feel like is a direct quote from Matt way back when Zadam and Kaysha vommed in ep 2 and contestant Matt flashed his buns – Matt arrived for the final reward challenge. The challenge required everyone to build plank bridges between two platforms and collecting puzzle pieces which they use to complete a table maze and landing balls in a hole. My fave pastime. Desperate to enjoy a night away in a hotel, Tara got out to an early lead with Dav, as is oft the case, coming in second. Once again a puzzle proved to be Tara’s undoing, as everyone overtook her and Dave won his first challenge … without using an advantage. He was then given the chance to pick someone to go with him, surprisingly choosing Tara. Though it was to ensure Tess couldn’t scramble, so well played Dave.

Dave pulled Tess aside before departing for his reward to find out what her final three plans were, vowing that he will vote with her for whoever she wants if she wins the next immunity challenge. And while she could see right through it, she had no other options so agreed to boot Tara with him if he wins and went on their jolly ways. His a bit jollier, as he and Tara were collected to go enjoy their luxury hotel digs. Which TBH didn’t look that luxury, but maybe I am a snob? After a quick tour of their digs they made their way to the pool before discussing who was the biggest threat moving into the final three. With both of them looking to be unshakeable in their support for Lisa. Thank fuck.

Tara returned to camp rejuvenated while poor Dave wasn’t able to sleep as he couldn’t stop thinking about losing the next immunity challenge. Tara and Lisa spoke about the importance of one of their alliance taking out immunity, Dave said that a Tess win screws them all and Tess said winning is her only option. As such Matt returned for the final immunity challenge, where the final four would each have to hang upside down on a pole for as long as possible. Lisa was the first out after 12 minutes, followed closely by Tara leaving Dave as their alliance’s only hope. Despite being bitten by a wasp early on Dave battled it out for well over an hour … before dropping out, handing Tess immunity and keeping his tradition of coming second right up until the end.

Back at camp Tess was ecstatic to have taken out immunity, while the remaining three got to work scrambling. Tess pulled Tara aside to talk about who to take out, with Tess preferring to get rid of Dave as the biggest threat. Tara shared that there was no way she could vote against Dave, shocking Tess as it meant Tara could only vote for her closest ally Lisa. With the other two away, Dave and Lisa discussed who would be their most likely target with both of them assuming they were on their way out. Tara returned and Dave joined Tess to talk about options, with Tess being cagey and Dave getting super edgy and angry, which is awks since Tess has all the power. Rounding things out, Tess and Lisa got together to discuss options with Lisa pushing Dave as the biggest threat to throw the scent off of her. Out of nowhere, Tara seemed to come up with a plan to blindside Tess and vote herself out of the game and TBH, I am super confused as they head off for tribal.

At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Tess wearing immunity, who herself admitted that she was super proud of making it to the end. Lisa was once again in the hot seat, saying she was glad that she Adam cleared the air at the previous tribal and she hoped that people would focus on game if she makes it to the end. Dave spoke about the ever evolving nature of the game, Tess tried to figure out who she could beat while Tara tried to play things super cagey. Lisa said she was feeling fairly confident in those that she trusts while Tara looked super awkward when she spoke about not throwing in the towel, much to the rage in Matt’s eyes. The votes rolled in and Matt’s rage started to make sense as Tara orchestrated her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

I was quite bamboozled when Tara arrived at the Jury Villa, unsure why she threw away a shot at the prize for her friends. I mean, sure, she knew that she had no shot at said prize, but damn – that is wild. And I guess for that, I’ve got to be impressed. As such I whipped her up a Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood and toasted to her giving the deserving winner the chance to argue for the crown.

 

 

After thirty-eight days out on an island, there is nothing more enticing than carbs. Or dairy. Or hunks of chicken. Add them all together, and you’ve got this glorious American bake. Gooey and hearty, it is the perfect thing to perk you up for the final tribal council. Which you quit to avoid.

For some reason. Which I am grateful for.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g chicken breast, diced
¼ cup butter
500g button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
½ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry vermouth
3 cups parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp chilli flakes
500g linguine, cut in half and cooked as per packet instructions

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta.

In a second large pot, heat a lug of oil over medium heat and cook the chicken for five minutes, or until browned. Add the butter, mushrooms and peas and cook until the mushroom is tender. Stir through the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the meat and stir through the milk, stock and vermouth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes or so, or until starting to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through 2 cups of parmesan, and the thyme and chilli.

Once the pasta is cook, stir it through the pan, transfer to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden.

Devour immediately.

 

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Destitsio Williams

Baking, Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the merge hit leaving Cole nice and paranoid … and, bless, unable to see the clue to an advantage in plain site. With him busy, the heroes and hustlers got together and plotted to take out the healers, one-by-one. Which commenced at tribal after Joe played him idol needlessly as Jessica became the final pre-Ponderosa boot.

Solewa returned to camp where things were awkward and everyone kind of stood around awkwardly while Cole spoke about being upset and Joe impressed by their move. We then found out that Ben and Lauren had in fact orchestrated the entire blindside, with my namesake hoping they can go all the way to the top seven … though was concerned something would screw it up. Which is totalling going to happen, no?

The next day Mike was still struggling with the loss of tribal before Lauren, out of nowhere, found the clue to the advantage Cole couldn’t see in front of him. The advantage is another variant of the extra vote gig, with Lauren allowed to forgo voting at the next tribal council and stockpile the vote for a later tribal council. Depending on our you feel about saving, it is the ultimate banking game … or way too hard.

Not leaving me to sweat on it too long, my love Jeff returned for the reward challenge where the tribes would be split into two teams to run up a tower and shoot sacks at a target. Aka what the homophobe at my work said every gay person would be doing after Australia voted for marriage equality … which yes, was true for me, but also, have some fucking decorum. The team of Ben, Mike, Lauren, Ashley and Desi got out to a 3-0 lead before Ryan, Chrissy, JP, Cole and Devon’s strategy – to have the worst people go first and no longer have to participate – played of overtaking the others and snagging a spaghetti dinner, with Joe … who won the lottery and got reward without competing.

After the challenge Jeff explained that the spaghetti would be served ‘family style’ meaning there would be one single serve and each would go in to eat alone, not knowing how much the others had had. To further improve Joe’s day, he was given the opportunity to outline their eating order. Given he needs allies, Joe elected to go last sending Devon first – don’t tell Rodney, but it was for his birthday – followed by JP, who also didn’t notice a clue under the plate. Sweet Cole went next and surprisingly found the clue straight away … before using a tea towel to cover the clue. Smart move and also, so fucking dumb. Chrissy and Ryan also found the clue – outlining it was hidden under the tribe flag – before the latter hid the plate in the bushes.

Chrissy and Ryan spoke about the clue and Cole’s dim wit while Joe ate, before the latter proved he wasn’t as dumb as everyone thinks and questioned what they were talking about. This of course set up a three man race to collect the idol, which kind of fizzled out as Ryan snatched the idol while Cole went to pee. Thankfully he tasked Chrissy with covering the hole, leading to Cole diving under the flag with her to fight for the already gone idol. This then caught everyone’s attention, leading to an all in brawl before Ben decided Cole did have the idol. Oh … after the flag fell on top of everyone.

I mean, this was some Benny Hill shit. Praise Probst.

Given Cole was now in desperate need of some actual immunity, Probst returned for the challenge where the castaways were required to stand on a balance beam, while keeping an object up with a long hard pole. So again, pretty much my favourite pastime. Mike and Joe quickly dropped out followed by Devon, Lauren, Ryan – whose heart was literally beating through his chest – Ashley, Chrissy, Ben and Desi. This left Cole and JP to battle it out for immunity and my heart as their chests glistened in the sun. JP couldn’t keep it up long enough, handing Cole immunity … and well, my heart. I mean, he is proven to keep it up longer. How can I go past him?

Cole’s immunity win didn’t sit well with the hero-hustler mega alliance who half-heartedly congratulated him on his victory before quickly locking in a split vote for Joe and Desi. The split vote gave the healers hope, given they only needed to flip one person to their side to take control. Surprisingly this was Cole’s plan. Sadly for Joe he decided to approach Ryan and Devon while Ben lurked in the bushes ala Queen Sandra, leading to Ben blowing up at Joe at camp while Desi, Ryan and Chrissy lazed about in the shelter, nonchalantly wondering if something was happening.

After things cooled down, Lauren pulled Ben aside to share that they can not split the vote tonight otherwise she will lose her advantage. This made Ben nervous forcing him to approach Mike to flip to their side and save him. While Mike wasn’t sure keeping Ben was a good idea, he did think showing loyalty may carry him further.

At tribal Joe and Ben continued their feud with Joe identifying him as a threat, while Ben tried to point out he is a part of a bigger alliance and that he trusted them all. It went back and forth for a while before Chrissy and Ashley joined the fray to point out how annoying Joe is. Desi then gave a confusingly cryptic comment, Mike threw out the fact the Yawa five betrayed him as the last tribal and Ben spoke more about being a vet, which really isn’t making the target on his back any smaller. Desi continued to dig her own grave and Devon spoke about being a bright and beautiful light – seriously, swoon … and out of nowhere – before they headed off to vote.

Notably Lauren was successful in snagging her extra vote before the votes finished up tied with four each on Joe and Desi, with one each on Ben and Lauren for good measure … and no one the wiser that that didn’t add up to 11. More surprisingly the votes piled up on Desi in the revote, sending her out of the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa.

While she was absolutely heartbroken by the turn of events – and let’s be honest, so was I – I was glad to be able to hang with her, cheer her up and decide the tone for this season’s jury over a big ol’ bowl of my Destitsio Williams.

 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged – right Jules – that pasta will cure all ailments. Add a dickload of spices, a large hunk of meat and a creamy sauce? That is what dreams are made of, right Hiz?

Enjoy!

 

 

Destitsio Williams
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
1kg beef mince
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried mint
2 cups passata
500g ziti pasta
¾ cup butter
4 eggs
1 ½ cup parmesan, grated
¼ cups plain flour
2 cups milk, heated
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat before sweating the onion, garlic and carrot for five minutes … or so. Add the paste and mince and cook, breaking up the mince with the wooden spoon, for ten minutes or so, or until starting to brown. Add the allspice, mint and passata with a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

While your meat sauce is cooling, melt ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan until foamy. Add ¼ cup flour and cooking for a minute or two, or until the roux is coming together. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 cups of milk until smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and whisk through the yolks of the eggs, with the nutmeg and ¼ cup parmesan.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cook the pasta as per packet instruction before draining and returning to the pan with the remaining butter, egg whites and parmesan. Stir for a couple of minutes or until everything just comes together.

Press half the coated butter into the base of a large baking dish. Top with the meat sauce, following by the remaining pasta … and then finally, the béchamel. Sprinkle with some extra parmesan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for ten minutes … and then devour.

 

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Baked Zeki Smith

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Gen X war came to a head with Jess and Chris battling to stay, with Jess’ side winning the battle as Chris found his way out of the game. Sadly for Jess though, it was a double episode and despite the battle lines being redrawn between Zeke and David, with the votes deadlocked between Zeke and Hannah and Jess being rock-of-doomed out of the game.

It was brutal and sad and I’m still struggling to process it. Thankfully, however, it means that Ken is now the proud owner of the unknown Legacy Advantage.

We arrived back at camp where Hannah seemed to be experiencing the same levels of post-rock PTSD that I am. Although I guess she has the addition of guilt, and was there, so hers is probably more justifiable.

After Hannah calmed herself, David lamented his bad luck while Zeke rallied his troops for a very, very cocky display. But surely this episode won’t follow the saying win the battle, lose the war – right?

Probst opted to appear quickly – I assume concerned by my thirst as Kengel and his torso wandered around post Legacy Advantage – to announce it was time for the loved ones visit. So yep, now my face is as flooded as my basement.

I mean, seriously, how do you not cry hearing Adam ask about his sick mother … and then announce, through tears, that he couldn’t bare to use his advantage. Then Ken started talking about how he idolised his brother. And then Zeke’s dad saying he looked up to Zeke and that he was his hero – fuck.

FUCK – why am I showing human emotion?

Oh … and then they had a challenge where they were tethered to a rope and had to flip through an obstacle course. I couldn’t see through my damn tears but Jay took it out and moved by Adam’s promise not to steal the reward, opted to share it with him, Will and Sunday. Breaking my damn heart, again.

In return Adam gave him the reward steal advantage which is a great move considering the advantage is actually a huge disadvantage. And he still got to go on reward and get an update on his mother.

Again … my damn fucking heart. Honestly there is nothing to be said, seeing Adam breakdown was horrible particularly knowing that she sadly passed away after filming.

The next day David, Will and Adam quickly got our heads back in the game as Will decided he was sick of being treated like a kid – which technically, he is – and told them he wanted to make a move and flip to their side to send Zeke home.

Wanting to keep our spirits on the up and up, Probst quickly returned for the immunity challenge where they had to keep a tight grip on a firm rod to stop it penetrating a surface. While the fact that it sounds amazingly smutty would normally be enough, it forced Ken to tense his bare chest and torso – yes, it was a home fucking run. Despite the fact Adam took out immunity instead of my Kengel.

Back at camp Adam was feeling confident with immunity, his idol and the fact Will was looking to flip. Sensing David and Co’s serenity, Zeke started to get paranoid and decided to flip their vote from David to Ken.

Kengel and Will then sent for a pow-wow, much to Will’s annoyance – meaning Will, a child, is dead to me. Will then told Ken that Zeke’s group were now planning to vote him out, Ken then pulled Jay aside to confirm it was the case.

Then Will followed … and then Zeke … and then Sunday, before Will laid out all of his plans to build his resume.

Obviously that pissed off everyone – and firmed up Ken as an unlikely goat for the final three – leading to Hannah and David’s vote returning to the table with Ken and Zeke as we headed to tribal council.

Once there, James Earl Jones Jnr. called everyone out for their agism as the sides went back and forth appealing to him, to pick their side.

Thankfully – for Hannah, David, Ken and Adam at least – Will did decide to flip, rendering Adam’s (kinda)successfully played crotch idol (on the four Hannah votes, FYI) pointless – but hey, at least it drove home, really hard and deep, the phallocentric innuendo for the episode – sending my dear friend Zeke to Ponderosa.

I first met Zeke in 2014 after joining his gay, all-male improv group ‘Judith’ – given our passion for Survivor, friendship was inevitable and our best-friendship quickly blossomed. While he was super bummed to get the boot, he was thankful to see me there to cheer him up and run through the ways he could have changed his game up over a hearty Baked Zeki Smith.

 

baked-zeki-smith-1

 

There is nothing more comforting than a baked ziti – particularly in the tropical heat – rich, spicy and slathered in cheese, it is the perfect way to pull you out of a post-boot depression.

Zeke thinks it is a culinary game changer – enjoy!

 

baked-zeki-smith-2

 

Baked Zeki Smith
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
500g Italian sausage, removed from casings
500g beef mince
4 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground sage
1 tbsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
500g dried ziti (or penne if you’re stuck in Australia)
500g ricotta
500g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
1 egg
handful fresh parsley and basil, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and sweat for a couple of minutes, or until soft. Add the sausage and mince, and cook until browned. Drain of any excess fat – don’t be too particular about it as the glorious fat as the glorious flavour, said the future Biggest Loser contestant.

Add the tomatoes, herbs and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer for about half an hour. Remove from the heat and ladle out a few cups of sauce to a large bowl to cool separately.

Preheat oven to 180°C and cook the pasta as per packet instructions, minus a minute or two – you want the pasta to be just al dente. Run it under cold water and allow to drain completely.

In a new bowl, mix the ricotta, most of the mozzarella, parmesan, egg and a whack of salt and pepper until just combined.

Add the pasta and removed tomato sauce  to the cheese mixture and stir thoroughly.

Add half the pasta to the bottom of a large baking dish, top with half the meat sauce, top with the remaining pasta … and then, you guessed it, top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.

Chuck it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and molten. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for ten minutes. Top with remaining herbs and devour.

 

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Scott Batsit Bake

Halloween, Main, Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Where do I begin with my dear friend Scott Adsit? After meeting at Second City in the late 80s, we quickly became friends … until his superior talent led to him landing a role in the permanent cast over me in the 90s leading to an epic feud, second only to Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

While I quickly moved on from missing out on the role, it took me a far longer time to end our one-sided feud – it snowballed beyond what even I would consider rational. Eventually we landed in the same room in the early 00s when he guested on Friends – I was part of Jen An’s entourage at the time (I really must catch her soon), leading to my time with Judah.

My dear friend Denise Richards – whom I also need to catch-up with – was guesting in the same episode, heard of our beef and worked overtime to clear the air between us and help us heal. The woman is an absolute miracle worker – I mean between this and Charlie Sheen, she should be sainted – and we were able to mend the rift and have been friends ever since.

When Teens and I sat down to start working on 30 Rock – did I mentioned I ghost-co-created the show? – we knew there was only one person who could play the role of Pete. He was also up for a part in Sorkie’s West Wing follow up, so I did a bit of covert sabotage to ensure Teens’ show would get its man.

Obviously don’t ever tell Teens or Scott, ok?

Our time spent together on the 30 Rock set after my life ban from actual 30 Rock was lifted would have to go down as the greatest period of my life, as we fully reconnected and got back to the friendship we had when we were both starting out, all that time ago in the 80s.

I haven’t had the chance to see much of Scott lately, with him busy recurring in the Deadpool comics and becoming the modern Disney icon that is Baymax, so it was wonderful to be able to take some time out to reconnect and scare the absolute shit out of one another. FYI, that is kind of our thing.

Want to play into our scaring contest in a low key way, I obviously set about whipping up a deceptively wicked Scott Batsit Bake.

 

scott-batsit-bake-1

 

What appears to be a sweet, delicate pasta bake made to resemble the corpses of albino bats, is actually a fiery death-trap, hotter than molten lava.

Let me tell you, it scared him going in … and sure as hell gave him a fright when it came out.

Enjoy – it may be hot, but it is also freaking delicious … promise!

 

scott-batsit-bake-2

 

Scott Batsit Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g bow-tie pasta
2 extra hot chorizos, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp dried oregano
pinch of raw caster sugar
¼ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chilli paste or hot sauce … or more, if trying to scare your friend (or less if you hate chilli)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and cook pasta as per packet instructions, drain and set aside.

While they are getting freaky, add the chopped chorizo to a large pan over medium heat and fry until cooked through and the smoky oil is released. Add the garlic and onion and cook for a further minute or two. Stir through the tomatoes, paste, oregano, sugar, olives, mushroom and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, season generously and stir through the pasta. When you’re just about to transfer to a baking dish, also stir through half of the mozzarella to ensure you have plenty of spooky cobwebs throughout, while eating. Then, obviously, transfer to a baking dish.

Top with the remaining cheeses and bake for half an hour, or until bubbling – like a cauldron – and crisp.

Devour … with more hot sauce, if you dare.

 

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