Taylor went home Saturday, but the last meal we cooked together was a revisit with the visually impressive pasta pie I made last June! (Original recipe can be found here.) She had seen it on my blog and it was her one wishlist item that we make while she was here.
The first time was a pretty tedious process, but this second time with a pair of helping hands it went by a lot quicker. I think recipes that have labor intensive steps are perfect for sharing with kids because you can split up and share the work!
While I was browning the beef Taylor carefully used my microplaner to grate the Parmesan cheese.
Next, we swapped stations and she took over stirring the sauce and beef mixture while I got the pasta ready. (It was at this point Taylor noticed the sauce had bits of onion in it. I got a bit of a nose-crinkle and feared this might be an issue when the finished meal hit the table.)
Taylor was a big help standing all of the rigatoni upright in the spring form pan.
Then, her smaller fingers were the perfect size for squishing the sauce down in each noodle hole!
It popped out just as cleanly and impressive this time as last time, too!
The presentation is worth the extra assembling effort!
I'm also happy to say that Taylor was half-way through her serving before she even remembered that she didn't like onions! When it came time to clear the plates I saw one lone piece of onion that had been picked out and discarded to the side of the plate. Knowing Taylor had she not invested so much into helping make this recipe, she would have sat there and picked out every single piece of onion! I guess all that hard work made her forget and sit back and enjoy each bite! (Thanks again to Laura for the knork - Taylor loved it and chose to eat virtually every meal with it!)
Thank you for spending your Spring break with us Taylor! We had so much fun with you and miss you already!