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Mimicking an Iron Chef (America) dish by Pfil Visit Thread
I watched Iron Chef America - S01E08 - Batali vs Campbell - Battle Cheese and became so totally enamored of the dishes that Mario Batali produced that I became obsessed with duplicating them. Specifically his "Pacchari Ripieni with Mozzarella and Ricotta" dish. I watched the episode salivating wildly, then I watched it again, writing down every scrap of information I could get for this dish. Then I watched it again, skipping through the annoying challenger (who actually caused a thread to be created about his weirdness) as much as I could. And again, and again and you get the idea, I was obsessed. This is what cheese does to me.

Mario basically sauteed some peas and prosciutto together, mixed it with ricotta and mozzarella, stuffed some pasta tubes, poured bechamel over it all and topped it with parmesan before baking it. This is my attempt at creating something similar.

This is what Mario's finished dish looked like

Some quickie definitions I had to look up:
Pacchari: a type of tube pasta
Ripieni: Italian word for filling

I am using Manicotti instead and I am also using a bigger dish to bake it in because I didn't want to deal with fiddly little bowls and I'm not being judged by anyone but myself so fuckit.

I boiled the manicotti

then I took half of this sausage left over from grilling the other day, and took all the skin off, chopped it up, threw it in a pan with some chopped up onions and some peas and sweated them with some salt and pepper

to make this loveliness

I threw in some fresh homegrown basil right at the end and then it was into the fridge to cool down

My husband made a beautiful bechamel sauce while I grated up some mozzarella and some parmesan cheeses.

When the pea-onion-sausage mixture had cooled down enough, we added ricotta and mozzarella to it and stuffed the manicotti tubes.

Then I poured bechamel all over it and topped it with a bunch of freshly grated parmesan

Then we baked it at 350*F for 20 minutes because that seemed like a good idea and is pretty standard. Then I stuck it under the broiler for 2 minutes, but we were listening to loud music (Velvet Underground is good waiting-to-eat music) and I didn't hear the beep, so it went for 3 minutes which led to a little extra browness. But it still looks yum.

We had to wait the longest few minutes of my life until it had stopped bubbling and we could serve it without it running everywhere.

Eat with wine

Oh man, it was delicious. It was like eating heaven. I would definitely make it again but perhaps try to make it less rich, although I'm not sure how.

Have any of you ever reverse-engineered TVshow recipes where they don't tell you amounts or cooking times or anything? Or recipes from restaurants?

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