This evening, I had the pleasure of once again being an honored guest at the home of the lovely Amanda and Jeff Ewer. Jeff is the manager of the lab I work in on campus and his kids (alllll 6 of them!) are just the sweetest kids you will ever meet! His wife is pretty amazing, I hope one day I can have her patience, wisdom, and awesomeness at all things mother-related.
Anyway, on my daily hunt for food recipes I came across this recipe for Rigatoni with Blush Sauce and I thought it would be a great quick and easy meal to make with the girls one day. Jeff has 4 daughters, all of whom do a great job helping their mom out in the kitchen. They cook, clean, set the table, all the works and they were such great cooking companions!
We followed the recipe to the tee, making only one modification: doubling the recipe to feed all of the little mouths patiently awaiting their supper. Maia, the oldest, helped me gather all of the ingredients and got the recipe started by chopping up and sautéing the bacon. Anna peeled the onion and Emilie helped me chop it up. Megan was the master taste tester, and boy did she like her job 😉
Alongside our pasta dish, Amanda tossed up a salad and amazing popover rolls. She made them from scratch! Did I mention how awesome she is?
Of course, no dinner flies solo without its trusty mate: dessert. Emilie was prepared with a (from scratch…these girls are seriously amazing) homemade chocolate cake that turned out fabulously! Megan topped it with an incredibly light and airy chocolate whipped cream icing (also made from scratch) that was so amazing we couldn’t stop licking the bowl! And of course the girls painstakingly labored over perfecting every last edge of the icing of the cake. I’m pretty sure they iced and re-iced that cake like 10 times. In the end though, it looked pretty darn good…and tasted infinitely better than it looked!
Overall, I’d say every person at the dinner table would give this pasta two thumbs up. It was a dish on the heavier side featuring sour cream, tons of mozzarella cheese, and bacon as a large part of the sauce, but it was definitely packed with flavor. Every flavor complemented the other very well, and the hot sauce gave it just the right kick in the background to jazz it up even more while keeping the spice level low enough to enjoy the actual taste of the food. We made two batches of the recipe: one with the recipe mandated hot sauce and one without. Even for those who had originally requested the non-spicy recipe, we ended up with a few converts to the world of spiciness! This is definitely a dish being added to mine and the Ewer family quick dinner recipe books.
Of course, no dinner can be complete without a few shenanigans…Emilie was a brave little fella and took an adventurous chance at trying some drops of hot sauce on her pasta.
For all those who are curious, she did indeed like it and did not die from super spiciness.
And the cutest of all of the Ewers is Boaz Ewer who entertained us with his crazy muscles. Check out that cutie…his face=priceless!
Rigatoni with Blush Sauce
1/2 lb rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless-cut into small pieces
1 medium onion
6 slices bacon
2 tbsp Frank’s (or any brand of your choice) hot sauce
1 can (2 cups ) diced tomatoes
fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
fresh parmesan cheese for topping
1. Cook the bacon on medium heat in a large skillet until it begins to render fat. Add the chicken, onions and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. This will take 10-15 minutes depending on the heat of your stove. Just keep stirring and keep a close eye on the chicken as you cook.
2. Add the diced tomatoes, water, basil, hot sauce and sour cream (the recipe calls for this after the simmering, but I added it in before simmering and it was just fine!). Simmer for 10 minutes or until the water has mostly evaporated off leaving a thickened sauce that coats the back of the spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and add the mozzarella cheese. Add the cooked past and stir until everything has been evenly combined and distributed. Serve warm and top with parmesan cheese individually as desired.
*recipe taken straight from jocooks.com