Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baked Pasta with Fish, Bacon and Cheddar - Too Much isn't Always Wonderful

It's been a while since I made pasta.

Ask me questions!
- Are you too loyal to rice, so that eating pasta makes me feel guilty? Nope, I love almost all food almost equally. HAHA
- Do you just hate pasta? Of course not! (who can possibly hate pasta, btw?)
- Are you on low carb diet? Bah! I am on high everything diet.

You're never gonna get it right.

- Are you too lazy to cook pasta?....

Hmmm...this question is rather difficult to answer...

- Are you crap at cooking pasta?

Errr....can I say "no comment"?

I know that most people find cooking pasta "quick and easy".
I still remember a friend's answer to "what do you cook for your husband every day?". She said "Easy. Pasta."

I don't get it. To me, cooking a good pasta dish is challenging. It involves a lot more steps that how I normally cook. But, knowing me, I was probably making things difficult for myself. It could never be "simply cook the pasta and mix with the sauce" for me. Purely because I don't know how to achieve a good pasta dish that way...yet. I always felt obligated to do too much, and too much isn't always wonderful.

Baked Pasta with Fish, Bacon and Cheddar

This dish photographed like a sweet dream.
Golden, glistening, glorious, gorgeous.
Too bad it doesn't taste as amazing as it looks.

I baked this pasta dish to get a crunchy top with a creamy bottom.

The top was great. The bacon's tasty (as if bacon could ever taste bad), the fish pieces were succulent, the scorched cheese layer with bits of herbs and black pepper flakes was delicious, and the pasta has a touch of wonderful crunchiness to it.

But the bottom was not too great. The bottom part of the pasta turned dry and it didn't get most of the good parts from the top, and it went too hard to mix. I should've added more sauce to keep the pasta creamy at the bottom next time (if there's gonna be a next time).

Although the dish wasn't a success, let me still share what I did for this dish:
- Pasta for two, boiled and drained
- Fish fillet, seasoned with salt and pepper, seared just a little bit, not completely cooked
- Bacon bits, pan fried without oil until shrunk and cripsy
- Sauce: oil from the bacon, finely chopped garlic, dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage), salt, pepper and cream, sauteed and cooked in a fry pan
- grated cheddar cheese, black pepper and dried herbs topping

Preheat oven to 250C, assemble pasta in an oven proof dish, pasta, fish fillet, pour sauce, add grated cheese on top, bake until golden brown, add bacon bits.

It's more like a savoury pasta cake than a creamy pasta dish.

Sharing this failure with Presto Pasta Nights gang (Gosh, it's been a while, and I wonder if sharing failure is allowed. Oppps), hosted this week by Equal Opportunity Kitchen

I promise that I'll share something that isn't a food disaster in my next post, guys. Wish me luck. I need it so.


Ruth Daniels said...

Glad to see you back at Presto Pasta Nights...even if it isn't your best.

It certainly looks awesome though.

YaYa said...

"Bah! I am on high everything diet." Classic! You are channeling me Rita! Another laugh-out-loud post.

FFichiban said...

The pasta looks fantastic! I doubt it can be as bad as you describe :P that cheesy bacony top looks just too good!

pigpigscorner said...

oh well...it still looks good =)

Sharon said...

Hmm, it still looks pretty freakin tasty! I agree that I dont necessarily put pasta under the "easy" category like everyone else. Water in my house takes too long to boil!

Little Corner of Mine said...

It looks so cheesy and yummy!

EatTravelEat said...

LOL :). Great post! I've made slightly crunchy pasta too. After cooking the pasta I tossed it in oil and left it in a warmer for 30 minutes...the oil caused the pasta to be crunchy!

Pasta for me always takes at least 30 minutes to do. Very time consuming!

KennyT said...

Aiya, it's looking delicious lah, ring me up if u can't finish any of the dishes made by urself next time lah, hahahahaha

Indigo said...

Can something that photographs THAT attractively really be considered a failure? Well, you've made me hungry...

Lina said...

interesting combination... fish, bacon, and cheese eh? im not much of a pasta cooker either...

Pam said...

Well, it certainly looks fantastic!

Whenever I do a baked pasta, I usually pour in a little chicken stock to keep it moist.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

ruth...yes, hope i can be back more often :)

yaya, yeah...u know exactly what i mean...;)

ffichiban T_T i thought it could not go wrong too...until i bit into crispy pasta (not good crispy)

pigpigscorner yes...it only looks good...and only the top tasted delicious...the bottom...no comment haha

sharon...yes! that's why i don't do pasta often...

locm...i wish it was that yummy hehe

ETE yes! with the boiling and the draining and the making of sauce....it's good for weekends only then hehehe

kenny...sure! (you will sooo regret this suggestion haha)

lina, it was because i had some fish fillet which had already been defrosted hehe

indigo, a photography success, but a culinary failure haha

pam, you always have just the right tips for me :) i'll try next time

Psychgrad said...

I like the chicken stock tip too! It's funny how the appearance of food doesn't always match the taste. I think this looks amazing through and through. But, I've also experienced dryness with baked pasta.

Thanks for participating in Presto Pasta Night!

The Food Hunter said...

It sure looks good.

Kevin said...

You had me at paste, cheese and bacon but I really like the sound of the fish in there!