Friday, January 29, 2016

Ramen Pastira with Ham and Provolone

     Italian Style Ramen Pastira  
     Creating some wild gourmet ramen noodle recipes is something that I do.  I am a college student, so I know what it is like when the funds run dry.  All I can say is that more often than not, Ramen Noodles are college student survival food.   
     I figured that an Italian style Ramen Noodle Pastira might just be a pretty good idea.  College students on a low budget will like the idea of Ramen Pastira, because one portion will leave the tummy feeling so full, that hunger may not return till the next day.  This gourmet ramen entrée can be made for a total food cost of less than $1.75, so this qualifies Ramen Pastira as one of the heaviest low budget meals of them all!

     Pastira is an old traditional Italian recipe that originated in Napoli.  Many Italian immigrants in New York City have sentimental memories of Pastira, because it was the only meal that they could afford to make when they first landed in this country.  
     Traditional Pastira is made with eggs, cheese and pasta.  Pastira is a baked pasta that is cut into portions before being served.  Serving Pastira with tomato sauce is an option.  As one can imagine, because Pastira is so dense, that it sits in the tummy like Lead.
     Pastira can be jazzed up with extra ingredients to make it it a little fancier.  Adding expensive gourmet items to Pastira is an option, but this would clash with the traditional low budget theme.  Adding a small amount of something cheap, like ham, vegetables or a bargain priced local cheese, will add plenty of flavor while retaining the poor folk's food theme.  
     "A la minute" Tomato Sauce: 
     This recipe yields about 1 cup.  (Enough for 1 Ramen Pastira.)
     This is a smooth tomato sauce that only takes little time to make.  The better the canned tomatoes, the better the sauce will be.  Imported Italian canned crushed San Marzano Tomatoes are the best and they are costly, but sometimes they are on sale for a bargain price.  San Marzano Tomatoes are so tender, that they require very little cooking time.     
     Step 1:  Heat 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic is a light golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 3/4 cup of imported Italian canned crushed San Marzano Tomatoes.
     Add 1/2 cup of tomato puree or tomato juice.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Bring the sauce to a very gentle boil, while stirring.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat low.
     Gently simmer till the excess tomato juices have reduced and the sauce is a medium thick tomato sauce consistency.  
     *Stir the oil into the sauce once every five minutes.  (The oil must be stirred into the sauce regularly so it combines with the tomatoes.)
     Step 5:  Remove the pot from the heat and let the sauce cool.  

     Ramen Pastira with Ham and Provolone:
     This recipe yields 1 gourmet ramen entrée!
     Step 1:  Cook 1 portion of ramen noodles in boiling water till they are tender, but not too soft.
     Drain the hot water off of the noodles.
     Immediately shock the noodles in ice water, while stirring, so they gain a chewy firm texture.
     Drain the water off of the noodles and set them aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced onion.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Set the onions and garlic aside to cool.
     Step 4:  Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add 3 tablespoons of fine grated Romano Cheese.
     Add 1 pinch of black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add the reserved sautéed garlic, onions and the olive oil from the pan.
     Step 5:  Whisk the egg mixture till it is blended.
     Step 6:  Add the reserved ramen noodles to the egg mixture.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Place the ramen noodle Pastira mixture in a small non-stick sauté pan that is brushed with olive oil.  Be sure that the Pastira mixture is an even thickness.
     Step 7:  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated provolone cheese over the uncooked Pastira.
     Place 2 to 3 ounces of thin ham strips on the Pastira.
     Place 5 or 6 dollops of the thick tomato sauce on the Pastira.
     Sprinkle 2 more tablespoons of grated provolone over the Pastira toppings.
     Step 8:  Bake in a 325ºF oven till the eggs are fully cooked and the cheese melts. 
     Use a rubber spatula to slide the Ramen Pastira with Ham and Provolone onto a plate.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     This gourmet ramen noodle creation is tasty and filling! 

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