An Experiment with Leftovers

So, I don’t really cook. And when I do, I follow the recipe exactly. I’ve had too many cooking experimentation disasters to start trying to be fancy. That’s why I like baking so much. You can experiment a little bit but you can’t mess with the chemistry of baking so you had better stick with the recipe for the most part.
However, for some reason, last week I had the patience and daring to do a little experimentation with some leftovers. In our CSA delivery from last week, we had a lot of really good stuff including two giant portabella mushrooms, a huge loaf of ciabatta bread, and some parsley. On Wednesday, I whipped up a pasta sauce with the mushrooms, grabbed some spices from the cupboard, and added them all to a can of pasta sauce. I kept the mushrooms in fairly large chunks so that the sauce would be pretty meaty. The sauce turned out pretty nicely.

As a rule, I do like to use canned pasta sauce but I always add my own extras (veggies, meat, and/or herbs). And as a rule, I always stand right by the stove when making pasta. However, this time, I got a bit distracted. The sauce was fine by the linguine was overcooked and mushy. Overcooked pasta? So gross.

After I finished my dinner of tasty sauce and mushy pasta, I still had a lot of extra sauce. One of the great things about our CSA is that they send a list of possible recipes for the foods included in the box. One of them said to saute the mushrooms, add some tomatoes and throw them on top of slices of ciabatta and throw them in the oven. This sounded like something that I could do.

For Thursday’s dinner, I sliced up some of the ciabatta and tossed them on a baking sheet. I then drizzled a little bit of olive oil on top. (If I had had more time and wasn’t as incredibly hungry as I was, I would’ve toasted the slices first.) I then spooned the leftover pasta sauce on top.

Ryan finely chopped some garlic for me and I added that to the top of the mushroom sauce. Then, I covered the sauce and garlic with mozzarella cheese. Please note, when I say that I covered the sauce I mean just that. My goal was to not be able to actually see what was under the cheese. Then the slices were ready for the oven. Once the cheese was melted, I topped each slice with some of the parsley that we got on Wednesday.

The result? These were really really good. I was a bit worried that the bread was going to be too mushy since the slices hadn’t been toasted, but they were just fine.


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