I just finished a batch of pasta bar-style pasta, using medium-sized seashell pasta. I'm leaving it as a surprise for the Spicyclan for them to find while I'm off having fun watching the Superbowl at one of my Lao classmate's house. It's in the southern arrabiata tradition--which for me means a good wallop of cayenne. I also like to use fresh chilies, but I forgot to get those when I went shopping.
They went to the Eastern Market in DC today. Well, if they don't care for it, I know what I'm having for lunch this week!
This is all-veg. Instead of using ground beef and/or pork, I tried browning soft tofu in olive oil before adding it to the sauce. It's not necessary, of course, but I like to try and boost the protein content.
I'm also thinking about seeing if I can bread the tofu in seasoned Italian bread crumbs before frying it in olive oil. That actually sounds yummy. Maybe I'll try that next time.
Postscript: Oh, the humanity. They came home and saw it, but didn't think it was for them--even though I left it in a fancy serving bowl.
06 Feb 2009 Update: my mother-in-law said she really likes it--she had it for lunch all week. She said it was way better than the pasta she tried in Rome. I told her that northerners can't make pasta to save their lives.