Monday, June 1, 2009

Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti Challenge: AKA, The Hamburger Themed Pasta

Awhile ago..... and I mean, a long while ago, Foodbuzz was having this challenge with Buitoni. you sign up, you get a free sample of Buitoni pasta, and you were supposed to make a dish to enter the Buitoni contest. My free sample came, mm, maybe a week and a half into my job on DJ & the Fro. Which is basically when I stopped doing the majority of my cooking and posts-- I have dedicated the last couple of my months to getting that whole business to turn out right.

But once Jeff finished up over at South Park and I had started to get a little more time on my hands, I at least cooked the pasta and took photos of it. I edited them, and then today I struggled to try to remember what I did to make it. Haha, it may not all be exact, but it's basically what I did and the amounts and ingredients I believe I used.

My thought was that I wanted like... an American burger pasta. I like hamburgers with mushrooms and bacon and cheese and caramelized onions-- and I figured, heck, that'd all go really well in a pasta too. But I wasn't really sure what to do for the sauce... I didn't really want a cream sauce, because there was enough heavy stuff in the pasta ingredient list that a cream sauce seemed like overkill. So I decided that a lighter wine sauce would be tasty, sort of Marsala based (the sweetness seemed like it might be nice), but with some white wine so it wouldn't be... well, too sweet.

A lot of pasta came in the pack. You can see me trying to double cook on my small stovetop as well as plate my dish. I don't usually take pictures of the cooking process-- I find it difficult to multi-task that much. I also have really shaky hands, so I usually need a glass or something to balance my camera on when taking photos. Jeff took these two of me cooking, which was nice participatory effort of him.

All in all, this dish turned out super tasty. The Buitoni pasta was really good-- I don't usually buy the pasta from that section of the grocery store (the fresh fridge section, because it's more expensive. :x and I often buy the whole grain but white still pasta from the dry pasta section). But when you want some ravioli, this might be the way to go. I really enjoyed the mushroomy cheesy goodness, especially with the saltiness of the "hamburger" meet and bacon and the slight sweetness of the sauce. The mozzarella balls were also positively lovely, as they had richness and also a mildness from the other flavors.

We played with some tomato sauce alongside, which was nice when we wanted a little zip of brightness. I really enjoyed this meal.

I miss it.
Hamburger Themed Buitoni Pasta

Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti
Mozzarella Balls
Parmesan Cheese
1/2 sweet onion, an 1/8 of it separated
3 strips of bacon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon ground Thyme
Pepper and kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
1/8 cup white wine
a splash of Marsala wine
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon butter

In a small bowl, mix together the ground beef, garlic powder, thyme, some salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
Heat a large skillet with about a teaspoon of olive oil in it. Make four flat patties of beef mixture and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, until browned. Remove from the pan and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
Cook the bacon in the pan, until just crispy enough to crunch into bits.
Set the bacon on a draining rack with a paper towel. Drain the bacon grease from the pan, leaving the tidbits and a little coating of it.

In a small to medium sized skillet, heat the butter to start caramelizing the onions. Place the onions in the pan and cook with a small amount of water and a small sprinkling of sugar, as well as a dash of salt. Slow cook, adding just a tad of water so the onions don't stick and all caramelize evenly.

Boil a large pot of water, with kosher salt added. Cook the pasta as per the instructions while the sauce is cooking.

In the large skillet the bacon was cooked in, add the rest of the onions, the oils, and the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, add the wines to deglaze. Mix it all in, and add the butter. Allow it to reduce to a thicker sauce.

Mix in the bacon and caramelized onions, fold in the pasta, and plate. Top with the beef patties and pearl sized mozzarella balls. Finish with fresh ground pepper and some Parmesan cheese.

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