L’appetito vien mangiando translates to “the appetite comes while you’re eating”. This wonderful phenomenon happened to us while we were eating our Basil Beer Breadsticks and Havarti Pasta Bake with Basil Beer Tomato Sauce. One bite and you will be smitten. My mouth is watering just thinking about how good everything tasted during dinner tonight. Our friends who don’t even like beer loved the beer infused meal. We were inspired to incorporate our recently purchased Basil Beer from Beaver Brewing Company. Since basil is the quintessential Italian herb; we knew we were heading to Italy with our basil beer recipes. Trust me- with these dishes, you would impress any grandma from Bloomfield.
Havarti Pasta Bake with Basil Beer Tomato Sauce
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 6 TBSP. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 (28oz) cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 can Rotel (tomatoes with green chilies)
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 cups of Basil Beer
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 8 oz grated Havarti cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the tomatoes, Rotel, basil, chicken bouillon cubes, and basil beer; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for an hour, or until the mixture has reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the sauce mixture with the cooked pasta. Add the Havarti cheese and toss again. Transfer pasta to a 13″x9″ glass baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta and bake for 25-30 minutes.
*Penny saving tip- Havarti cheese can be expensive. If you belong to Costco- you can buy their Havarti cheese deli slices (32oz) and cut each block in half to get 4 (8oz) blocks for about 8 dollars total. At our local grocer, 1 block (8 oz) is 8 dollars, so its like getting 3 blocks of Havarti cheese for free! I wrap my remaining 3 cheese blocks in plastic wrap and throw them in the freezer for the next time.
Basil Beer Breadsticks
- 1 1/2 cups warm basil beer (microwave for 20 about seconds)
- 2 TBSP granulated sugar
- 1 TBSP yeast
- 1 TBSP salt
- 2 TBSP butter, softened
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 4-5 Cups flour
- 3 TBSP butter, melted
- Sea salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 170. Pour the basil beer into a standing mixer. Add the sugar and yeast; let that sit and froth for 10 minutes. Add salt, butter, basil, and 2 cups of flour. Mix the dough on low until well incorporated. Add the rest of the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough scrapes the sides of the bowl clean. Mix the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until it’s easy to work with.
Let the dough rest in the bowl until it has doubled in size, roughly 1 hour. Punch it into a ball then roll it out into a long log. Spray a knife with cooking spray and cut the dough into 12-14 pieces. Roll the pieces into 6 inch long snakes (Don’t worry about having the perfect breadstick shape- the more organically shaped it is, the better!).
Place the breadsticks on 2 large cookie sheets sprayed with cooking spray (leave about 2 inches between each one). Place them in the oven at 170 degrees. Let them rise for about 15 minutes, or until doubled in size. Once risen, brush them with half (1 1/2 TBSP) of the melted butter and sprinkle them with sea salt.
Now set the oven to 400 degrees and bake them for 12-14 minutes or until slightly golden on top. While they are baking-combine the rest of the melted butter with 1 tsp garlic powder. When the breadsticks are golden brown, remove them from the oven and brush them with the butter/garlic mixture. Serve right away- they are best enjoyed while still warm!
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do. Let me know what you think!