Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mostaciolli and Mozzarella

Everyone loves the childcare center mostaciolli. Until last week, I didn't know what mostaciolli was. But I visualized a perfectly al dente cannelloni noodle stuffed with herbs and soft cheese. On special occasions, it might be made stuffed with mascarpone cheese. Well, it turns out that mostaciolli is just mostaciolli noodles (I thought those were called rigatoni) smothered in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and baked in a casserole dish. Mostaciolli is on the menu tomorrow. So tonight, I decided to create my own mostaciolli. I made an oven-roasted tomato sauce using the last week's tomatoes and tossed it with whole wheat fusilli pasta and served it with fresh mozzarella. Mostaciolli, rigatoni, fusilli...does it matter? I doubt Caroline will know the difference once it is cut up into toddler-size pieces. The tomato sauce was easy. I cut 2 lbs of tomatoes in half, sliced half an onion into thin rounds and spread them both on a cookie sheet. I tossed in a few sprigs of fresh thyme from my friend Mary's garden, drizzled the tomatoes and onions with olive oil and oven-roasted the spread at 375 F for about an hour. When the tomatoes were shriveled, I pureed the tomatoes and onions in my Cusinart. The sauce was lovely with just the right balance of sweet and tangy. Caroline wouldn't touch it. She loves tomatoes but she turned up her nose at my version of mostaciolli. Are the fusilli noodles to blame? But she did eat the fresh mozzarella cheese. I will try again with the mostaciolli and pack it for her lunch tomorrow. Like the roasted beets (which ended up on the floor again), I will continue offering mostaciolli with the hope that over time, she will enjoy it as much as I did tonight.

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, September 5: Breakfast - oatmeal, apple blackberry sauce; Lunch - roasted beets, zucchini, mostaciolli with fresh mozzarella cheese; Snacks - strawberries

Childcare Center Menu, September 5: Breakfast - fruit cocktail, bagels with cream cheese; Lunch - mostaciolli, California vegetables, cantaloupe; Snacks - baked potato

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Betty I really like the inclusion of the menu for Caroline's day and the comparison to the food at the center.

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