It’s finally starting to really feel like fall here in Chicagoland… the leaves are starting to change, and there’s a cool breeze in the evenings that almost requires a light jacket. There are quite a few dishes that will eternally remind me of fall: warm homemade applesauce, prune plum compote, Italian pot roast, and Neapolitan casserole. Most of those dishes, well, with the exception of the pot roast, were things that my mom would cook in the first few weeks of school, usually right around the Jewish High Holidays.
The only thing with these recipes is that they take a long time to cook. They require patience, low heat, and generally a slow pace. There’s nothing quite like any of them, and you’ll see all of them here soon. But tonight, I had the insane fall craving for the Neapolitan casserole. This recipe dates back to the 1940s from a cookbook by Antoinette and Francois Pope called The Antoinette Pope School Cookbook. I wish I had a copy of it, but I do have this one recipe that I begged my mom for years ago. I’ve adapted it to be a bit healthier, and of course omitted mushrooms for Adam.
Healthified Antoinette Pope Neapolitan Casserole
Adapted from The Antoinette Pope School Cookbook
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 lb. whole wheat pasta, cooked and kept hot
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
5-6 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
1 green pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. water
1 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350*. Heat a large frying pan and add the pieces of bacon. Cook until crispy, and add the onion and peppers. Cook until onions are transluscent and peppers are softened. Add the ground beef or turkey. Cook until meat is cooked through. In a casserole dish, put 1/3 of the cooked pasta, 1/2 the meat, and a generous sprinkle of parmesan. Repeat with another third of the pasta, the rest of the meat, and more parmesan. End with the pasta. In a separate vessel, mix together the tomato paste, water, and baking soda. Be careful, as it will froth up! Pour the tomato mixture on top of the meat and noodles and bake for about 25 minutes. Top each serving with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
This brings back a taste of childhood and fall for me…and I was thrilled to eat it tonight! Something about the chopping and sauteeing and baking and waiting that was so comforting.
Fall (or Autumn as you may call it) is really a great time to slow down, enjoy, and savor the little things. The hectic pace of the holidays hasn’t kicked in yet, and everything is simply beautiful… so when the Alouette company contacted me to host one of their Slow Down & Savour giveaways, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that it would end up being the BIGGEST giveaway I’ve ever done!
ONE lucky winner will receive a Gourmet Fall Cheese Tasting Party worth $150 which includes:
- This beautiful Mariposa two-toned bamboo cheese board with drawers that hold 3 cheese utensils (hard cheese knife, cheese grater, fork-tipped cheese knife) and 3 wine utensils (walter-style corkscrew, wine stopper, and drip ring)
- Coupons for FREE Alouette spreadable cheese, brie, and crumbles
- Cheese identification tags with marker (they’re the silver rectangles)
- Personalized cheese rating cards and pens
- Alouette recipe cards for entertaining
- Slow Down & Savour tips
The cheese rating cards and pens are completely personalized for the winner, and will look like this, with whatever you choose. They take up to 2 weeks to process, and will arrive separately:
How can you win this glorious prize? That’s simple! You have 3 chances to enter, and each requires its own individual comment.
- Comment on this post with your favorite way to “Slow Down & Savor” the fall season. (this is the easy one!).
For extra entries:
- Link back to this post on your blog (or if you don’t have a blog, email me) and leave a comment that you’ve done so.
- Tweet about this contest and leave a comment that you’ve done so! Just tweet this: RT @imadedinner: Slow Down & Savour This Fall with @alouettecheese
The contest will run from Today, September 16 through Sunday evening, September 20. The winner will be chosen at random by random.org, and will be announced at Sunday’s dinner post.
Good luck, and don’t forget to Slow Down & Savour the little things this fall…