Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The other day, I made a boatload of Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils – seen just above.  By boatload – I mean I started with 5 cups of dry lentils.  That makes nearly twice as much of the finished product – so – I decided to try to reinvent them.    I used two cups of them in this recipe and I still have a ton left.  You can either make this lentil recipe (cut in half) or your own favorite lentil recipe.  I recommend these because the flavor profiles match but I am pretty sure most lentil recipes will do.

I baked mine for an hour but this loaf was only about an inch deep.  I recommend going shallow rather than deep because the deeper the loaf is – the trickier it will be to get it cooked through without drying it out.

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I also used this crazy glaze I spotted at Ralph’s.  If you cannot find this – either let the loaf be naked or mix up a glaze of your choice – or just top it with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Glazes are nice because they add moisture & another flavor component.    Here is a CURRY KETCHUP recipe (use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan) and here is a SRIRACHA KETCHUP recipe (again – use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan).    I posted Korean & traditional BBQ sauce recipes HERE.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry & Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

Makes one meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

2 cups prepared lentils (your favorite recipe or less than half of this recipe Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils)

11 oz vegan beef crumbles (I always use Beyond Meat)

2 TBS red curry paste (or more – to taste)

5.6 oz coconut milk

1/4 cup oats (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry) – breadcrumbs work, too

1/4 cup flax meal (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry)

GARNISH – your favorite meatloaf glaze or BBQ sauce & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all your ingredients together.  Get it to about the consistency of a wet burger.

I lined my pan with foil but parchment paper is better.  I sprayed it with cooking spray & poured the lentil mixture in & pressed it flat.

Top with the glaze of your choice.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until it is cooked through.  A testing stick should come out clean.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before transferring or cutting into it.

Top with more glaze, if you desire, & serve with fresh cilantro.

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Leftover Vegan Meatloaf Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mississippi Come Back Sauce & a Vegan Cheese Review

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – let’s talk vegan cheese for a minute.  I read somewhere that saying you don’t like vegan cheese is tantamount to saying you don’t like cheese – and, I think we can all admit, that is just crazy talk.  I mean, I guess there are folks out there that really do not like ANY kind of cheese but who wants to know or hang out with THEM?  They probably don’t like dogs, either, and are also likely prepared to vote for Trump. Fuck them.

Let’s talk about reasonably sane people.  So – the point was, there are SO MANY kinds of vegan cheeses that sweeping & strident statements about not liking vegan cheese come off as either unattractively petulant or willfully ignorant.  Nobody likes people like that, either.  Still, I must say, I have said things that could be interpreted to mean, “I don’t like vegan cheese.”  In fairness, I have not yet ventured out to Vromage – but I intend to next week when my mom is in town visiting.

I have, however, ponied up the $10+ per cheese at Miyoko’s Kitchen – sampling these four:

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My opinion is that the hard cheeses are not “there” yet – in that they are unpleasantly sharp & really do not replace the things they are meant to with much success.  They might fare better on a cracker or burger but naked – not so much.  The two soft ones, however, the Garlic Herb & Double Cream Chive are pretty good – even naked.  Additionally, they melted beautifully into cream sauces, like my 5-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Garlic Herb Pasta with Roasted Golden Beets & Chard, seen just above.  So – if you are looking to make creamy pasta dishes – I recommend these guys with full-throated enthusiasm.

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I have also tried one of the earliest vegan cheese contenders – one that met with general, vegan approval, that is – Daiya.  Many a vegan has sworn by the awesomeness of this stuff.  I must admit – my first efforts with it let me down but it is certainly possible that I had not managed my expectations properly & my disappointment was a result of expecting it to be a really cheesy product.  It is not.  I used to argue that it doesn’t melt but these shreds here did melt in a recent quesadilla that I made.  I actually enjoyed that quesadilla, too, because I have learned to be a more generous audience for these early attempts at what is surely to evolve, eventually, into something as convincing as Beyond Meat’s faux chicken & beef-free crumbles are.  This Daiya stuff is to mozzarella what veggie burgers are to real burgers – a decent substitute – not a product that will fool anyone into thinking they are getting the real thing.  And it has a very distinct flavor – specific & not terribly cheesy – but not unpleasant either – once you adjust.  But really – there is only one other vegan product (like Beyond Meat’s line) that, I think, CAN fool people is the Morning Star Sausage Patties – seen below.  They are AMAZING & complete with seems like gristle & everything!  They look & taste like the real thing.  In fact, the first time I had one was at Duke’s, on Sunset in West Hollywood (now closed! ).  I took one bite & blanched.  These were REAL sausage patties!  I complained to the waitress who assured me they were, in fact, veggie.  I persisted – until she explained that their real sausage was served link-style.  They had no real sausage patties.  And it was then & there that I fell in love with these guys. (UPDATE 10-30-15 – these sausage patties are NOT vegan and they contain egg & dairy.  See the full ingredients list in the comments below.)

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The next vegan cheese I want to rag on are these guys.  Kraft & Velveeta cheese slices are dreamy – even if they are likely to be more petroleum than dairy.  So – I naturally thought that these guys above would be good.  After all, the product they are there to replace is as chemically & fake as any food on the market.  How hard could that be to reproduce?  Apparently – very hard.  These two flavors, as far as I am concerned, are downright yucky.  Still – some got mixed in with real ones at a BBQ recently & the kids there were ripping the plastic off the real & vegan ones, indiscriminately, oblivious the word “vegan” I had written with a Sharpie on the impostor slices.  They shoved them in their faces & happily munched – unaware that my dogs won’t even eat those things.  But, to be fair, two of my dogs won’t eat the “real” cheese ones, either.

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Onto Follow Your Heart brand mozzarella.  Follow Your Heart, indeed.  Follow it to some other brand of cheese – vegan or otherwise.  I had high hopes for this stuff – primarily because it was very soft & smooshy in the package & that made me think it would be one of the rare vegan cheeses that really & truly melts near heat – like real cheese.  I found it amid a plethora of vegan cheeses at the kinda awesome Lassen’s in Los Feliz.  This is a health food HEAVEN with nearly every vegan option you can think of – even vegan bacon bits sold in bulk!  GOOD ones, too.  But this place is only frequented by those with pockets as deep as Madonna’s.  Or those that want to go bankrupt faster than MC Hammer – or the reckless regular shoppers at Gelson’s.   But Lassen’s is a great one-stop spot to find vegan staples like nutritional yeast, vital wheat gluten and a wide selection of vegan cheeses.  So – go there for specialty & hard-to-find stuff & a huge selection of bulk items.

Anyway – this Follow Your Heart shit is slimy & mushy & flavorless and does NOT melt in an oven at 350 – on top of a tortilla pizza.  I know.  Because I tried.  It softened a lot but the the pieces never melted enough to lose their shape – like real cheese does.  More importantly, it tastes like nothing & the raw texture is just unforgivable.  I am almost motivated to write a strongly worded letter.  Almost.

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Next in the hot seat – Lisanatti brand mozzarella.  UPDATE – THIS IS NOT VEGAN – AS IT CONTAINS CASEIN.  I almost opted not to try this brand of vegan mozzarella – primarily because the packaging is so ugly.  It makes me think of that Cracker Barrel logo above.  I possess an inexplicable & irrational loathing for that Cracker Barrel logo.  It is Just.  So.  Ugly!  Look at it!  What the fuck?  Were the powers that be too cheap to hire a real branding company to design their logo?  “Cousin Betty took a course in graphic design at Bodunk City College & she works cheap.  A pack of Pall Malls & a handle of Fireball and you’re golden.”

Apparently, Cousin Betty took that course in the fucking seventies because there is no other explanation for the color and…ugh.  It just makes me nuts.  I’d rather starve than eat there & support their bad taste in graphic design & poor marketing strategies.  But – I digress.

Lisanatti Foods seem to have let either Lisa or Natti design the packaging – unless Cousin Betty is still moonlighting but – you know what?  It is OK.  It is OK because whomever they put in charge to make this cheese did a fucking great job!  Still – there is a lot of info on that ugly label.  Apparently, Oregon is the landmark of quality, which is news to me.   This cheese is not only gluten-free but Kid Kritics approved.  I am always mystified when things to do with kids are deliberately misspelled – but whatever.  Apparently these kids approved of this vegan cheese but after I saw those kids eating that gawdawful Tofutti shit – my faith in kids as kritics is shaken.

The label declares, “Shreds, melts and tastes great!”  And, I am happy to report, it really does taste great!  Naked.  Really good.  It is soft like mozzarella & truly tastes good.  I did not try to shred it but I did try to melt it – on the same tortilla pizza I tested the Follow Your Heart cheese.  Neither cheese really melted.  They both got very soft & had I used this Lisanatti cheese in something pressed – like a quesadilla – the melting quality might have been facilitated more.  So – not a true melt but I am feeling forgiving here because they got the taste to be pleasant & that is more than half the battle.  PS – this is the cheese I used on my meatloaf grilled cheese here and I even nuked it for a minute and a half – hoping to just radiate the fuck out of it so it lost its will to not melt but I failed.  SOFT – but not ooey-gooey melted.  You can see in the photo below – it has not even melted enough to obscure where one slice ends & another begins – after nuking AND pan frying.  But it tastes good and I will buy it again!

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Now – on to Field Roast Chao slices.  These guys get the real cheese thing across best.  I have tried all three flavors & find them each to be distinct & genuinely yummy.  The creamy original is like a provolone or mild white cheddar.  Tomato cayenne is a very nacho cheese kinda thing & the coconut herb with black pepper is just a mild white cheese.  The texture is right on & the flavors are good.  And the packaging is attractive!  This is the bar, in my opinion, for vegan cheese that is widely available in supermarkets & not just in specialty shops.  While this cheese also failed the melt test in a 350 degree oven – it passed the “melt in a pan” test with flying colors!  This is the only cheese I have attempted that with because I was certain that the tomato cayenne cheese & some Rotel would make an amazing queso – and I was right!  Behold – my 5-Minute 2-Ingredient Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip!

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Maybe all of these cheeses would melt in a pan – if given the chance – and that might be the secret to getting it gooey for sandwiches & pizzas etc…melt it in a an & pour it on top.  I will experiment & get back to you on that.

Oh – and Soledad Sanctuary used to make cruelty-free goat cheese but they recently turned vegan & are developing their own vegan cheeses!  If you live in LA, they have a stand at the Hollywood farmer’s market & are happy to let you sample their efforts.  Eventually, they will be selling the cheeses through their site, too.

So – now – let me present my Leftover Vegan Meatloaf Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mississippi Come Back Sauce!

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Mississippi Come Back Sauce is, basically, a homemade vegan & spicy Thousand Island – not unlike the Delta Dipping Sauce I presented in my Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese – seen above.  This recipe makes quite a bit but it should keep in the fridge for a week so you can use it on other things – like a dip for tater tots, on burgers or tacos – even a salad dressing.

Mississippi Come Back Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup vegan mayo

2 TBS ketchup

1 TBS Dijon

1-2 TBS sriracha

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 tsp dry mustard

1/4 cup onion – minced

2 garlic cloves – minced

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Blend & chill.

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Leftover Vegan Meatloaf Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mississippi Come Back Sauce

Feeds as many as you like – depending on the amount of leftovers you have.  Here are the ingredients I used:

Leftover vegan meatloaf

Jewish rye bread

Vegan butter

Mississippi Come Back Sauce (recipe above)

Vegan cheese (I used Lisanatti mozzarella)

DIRECTIONS

Make like you would make any grilled cheese.  Butter the bread on one side & place it in a frying pan on medium heat.  Top with the other ingredients & put another slice of bread on top – buttered side up.  Turn a few times – pressing the sandwich with the cover of a pan to help heat it through – until the bread is golden to your taste & the cheese is at least pretending to wilt.

Eat.  🙂

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Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – I made those Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas for Easter but I had a shit ton of the mashed potato filling left over.  So – I made these potato cakes.

You can use the recipe from the empanadas for the mash mixture or make up your own.  I have a food mold – so I used it but you can make these by hand, the way you would make a hamburger patty.  You can pan fry these but I chose to bake them.  I added grated cheese – mainly to make them prettier.  I added bread crumbs but I don’t think I would in the future as they just add calories & not much else.  I did not mix anything extra in but you could add cheese to the potatoes themselves or additional cooked vegetables or, if you are a meat eater – add some chopped ham or bacon.

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Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

INGREDIENTS

Mashed potatoes – either from my Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas or your own recipe – just make them thick.

Breadcrumbs – optional

Grated cheese – optional (I used Parmesan & a mixed Mexican blend)

Additional vegetables, cheeses or meats – optional

Garnish – sour cream, chives

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

Add whatever you want to add to your mashed potatoes.

Assemble your cakes by hand or with a food ring.  Press some breadcrumbs in – if you are using them.  Place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Top with cheese.

Bake 15-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking – or just until they are heated through.

That’s it!  Yummy leftover mashed potato cakes!

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Leftovers Pot Pie in Individual Ramekins

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is less a strict recipe than it is just a suggestion for using leftovers.  I used leftover Vegan Cauliflower, Kale & Chickpea Curry for the Slow Cooker but you can use any kind of leftover curry or stew.  I boiled up some cut up carrots & frozen peas & added them to my curry for color & because these vegetables are standard pot pie ingredients.

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I used a frozen pastry dough but – if you are feeling ambitious – you can make your own favorite pastry dough recipe or try the simple one I made HERE.

I used individual ramekins but, if you have enough leftover filling, you could make a full-sized pie.

Look how cute these guys are!

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I used an egg wash on the dough but, if you are vegan, you can blow that off or use a vegan alternative.  And with that – I present:

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Leftovers Pot Pie in Individual Ramekins

INGREDIENTS

Leftover curry or stew

Pie crust

Carrots & peas – cooked until tender (optional)

1 egg – whisked

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

If using ramekins, place them on your dough & cut circles around them about 3/4 inch bigger than the ramekins themselves.  Set the dough rounds aside.  Grease the ramekins with cooking spray or butter.  Place the extra dough scraps in the bottom of the ramekins.

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Bake these at 425 for ten minutes.  Remove from the oven & lower the temperature to 375.

If adding ingredients to your leftovers filing – do that now.

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Fill the ramekins with your leftovers & top with the dough rounds.  Press them closed around the ramekins & brush with the whisked egg.  Cut steam vents into the top of the dough.

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You could wrap & freeze these, at this point, if you wanted to.

Otherwise, place the ramekins on a cooking sheet & bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or so.  My oven is a little dodgy these days & so my temperature & baking times are hard to really get accurately.  Your pot pies might take a little more or a little less time – so check them.  If you are cooking them after freezing them – you might need another 15 minutes or so.  Either way – they are done when they look like this.  Let them set 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!!

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Leftover Vegan (or not) Spaghetti Pizza

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So, the night before last, I made a Homemade Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Broccoli Rabe & Poached Eggs.  Isn’t it pretty?

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But, last night, I found myself with several servings of it left over & I wasn’t really in the mood to repeat the meal exactly.  Plus, this blog pressures me to make and relentlessly photograph something new as often as possible.  So – I pondered what I could do with this leftover pasta.  Pizza, I thought!  Why not use it as a base for pizza?  And that is what I did.

I used this homemade spaghetti which is a little more dense & less flexible than boxed spaghetti would be.  I also decided to try this without adding anything to it to bind it (like and egg or two, a little milk & a little cheese) – primarily because I was out of eggs but also because, if it could work without those extra calories, I wanted it to.

I titled this recipe vegan only because it is so easily converted to a vegan recipe simply by replacing the fresh mozzarella with some vegan alternative.

This dish was a little hairy to make because I fried the spaghetti on one side & then needed to invert it from the frying pan onto a plate and re-oil the pan & then slide the spaghetti back into the hot oil.  Inverting a frying pan over your forearm is a very dangerous thing so WEAR OVEN MITTS and go light on the oil so there isn’t extra in there to spill out all over you.  This process might have been achieved with a large spatula – had I used eggs etc to bind it.  I will try it that way next time.

And there will be a next time because this was kinda fun.  Once on your plate, you are really just eating a triangle-shaped wedge of spaghetti but the crunch from the frying is nice.  Any kind of leftover pasta (with the sauce on it) would likely work – even other shapes of pasta – but I might avoid trying this with a cream-based sauce (like Alfredo) as the dairy would likely just burn.  The hunk of dark you might spot in mine are the bits of broccoli rabe from the night before.

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Leftover Vegan (or not) Spaghetti Pizza

INGREDIENTS

Leftover spaghetti

Some sort of sauce or fresh tomatoes to top it

Some kind of pizza cheese – vegan or otherwise

Olive oil

And really anything else you might use to top a pizza.

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 450 degrees.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a frying pan.  Press a layer of pasta into it & use a lid to really compress it.  Fry it over medium heat until crisped & golden – maybe eight minutes.

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CAREFULLY invert it onto a large plate, add 2 TBS olive oil to the hot pan & return the spaghetti to the pan for another 5-6 minutes.  Transfer the spaghetti to a greased pizza pan.  Top it as you will & bake it until your cheese is melted or golden to your taste.  Slice it up & shove it in your gullet.

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Baked Leftover Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Bisque, English Peas & Three Cheeses in Ramekins

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

As promised, another recipe made up from several other recipes posted this week.  This one uses leftover fettuccine from my Cilantro-Serrano Pasta post and leftover Tomato Bisque and some of my Homemade American Cheese.   You can use freshly cooked pasta or leftover, if you have it.   The soup can be replaced with ANY pasta sauce you prefer from a simple arrabiata to a marinara to an alfredo.  The cheese can also be substituted with goat or Parmesan or whatever you have handy.  I used English peas because I had them & I love them.

This particular effort isn’t that pretty because green noodles & a pink sauce make for an odd combination but let me tell you – it is friggin’ DELICIOUS.  I made it & just meant to taste one & stood there & inhaled an entire serving.   Really, really good!  I had intended to make little wonton baskets for each of these but forgot to – so a version using wontons is likely in my future.   At any rate – if you use a white pasta & a red sauce – or some other more compatible color combination – your effort should come out prettier.

I cooked 6 of these ramekins in a larger pan with water that came up about half way on the ramekins – and one just out there on its own in the oven.  In the future – I will blow off the whole water business because it achieved nothing that I could appreciate except maybe slowing the heating process a tad – and there is no practical purpose for that in this recipe.  So – you will see images of the larger pan & water but I am not recommending you do it that way.  The only thing it adds is a VERY real danger that you will scald yourself with the hot water as you remove these from the oven.

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Baked Leftover Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Bisque, English Peas & Three Cheeses in Ramekins

INGREDIENTS

4 cups cooked pasta

1 1/2 cups leftover bisque or other pasta sauce

1 cup fresh English peas (optional)

2 large balls fresh mozzarella – sliced

1 2″ cube homemade American cheese or other cheese of your choice

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Fresh basil and/or chopped fresh tomato – as garnish

Extra bisque or pasta sauce – as garnish

Fresh Parmesan to shave – as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Blend the pasta, sauce and whatever cheese(s) you are using (NOT the mozzarella) in a bowl.  Add the peas – if using.

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Spray 7 ramekins (sorry – it just worked out to 7) with cooking spray.  Divide the pasta mix among them.  Try not to over-fill them or they will get messy in the oven.  Top with a little extra bisque/sauce & put a slice of fresh mozzarella on each. Grind some pepper on them.

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Place on a cookie sheet & cover each with a sheet of foil that has been greased with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove foil & bake another ten minutes.

Remove from the oven & let cool a minute or two.  These can be served in the ramekins or flipped over & served on a plate.  Either way, garnish each with chopped tomato and/r fresh chopped basil and/or some freshly shaved Parmesan.

Devour & be proud of yourself for using up your leftovers!  Maybe even serve with some leftover Artisan bread!!!

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Leftover Tomato & Artisan Bread Soup with Buffalo Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

Ok, kiddies.  I am going to post two different dishes today that are made from leftovers of the recipes I posted last week.  This one uses the Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bisque and the Crazy Super Easy & Quick Artisan Bread.

Simply, brush some olive oil on a slice of Artisan bread & toast it in your oven (at about 350 – 400 degrees) for about ten minutes.  Add a few slices of fresh mozzarella & return it to the oven for a few minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Plunk this bad boy into the center of a warmed bowl of tomato bisque.  Garnish with leftover basil oil (I forgot to!!) and some fresh tomato (I used some Heirloom cherry tomatoes), fresh basil & fresh cracked pepper!  Ymmmmm!

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