Baked Lemon Rigatoni

 
I have to say that ultimately I used this recipe, for a Baked Lemon Ziti, as an inspiration for this dish. It’s pretty much the same dish but I made enough tweaks that I can’t really say it is the same. 

First off, I cut the recipe in half. Not really a big change, but in our ongoing effort to watch what (and how much) we eat, I’m trying to not make a lot of food that we then feel like we have to hurry up and eat before it goes bad. In doing so, I was able to use a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. 

The second change was that I used rigatoni in place of the ziti. Again, not a huge change as they are both tube pastas but the rigatoni is larger. 

Third, I used bacon instead of the prosciutto. Nothing against prosciutto but it tends to be pricey and we had plenty of bacon on hand. I chopped the bacon into smaller pieces before cooking it. Related to the bacon, I used the same pan as I cooked the bacon to do the sauce. The result was that the sauce turned a little darker Than it otherwise would have. From a presentation standpoint the sauce being darker was a little different but in doing that, I added some extra bacon flavor. 

Fourth, I used dried instead of fresh. I used about a teaspoon of dried lemon peel. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons of basil leaves (probably not quite the right amount considering how much of the fresh it called for but that was all I had). I used a little less than 1 teaspoon of ground thyme. Again, maybe not quite the right adjustment on the seasoning but once it was all done, it tasted great. 

I would call the dish a success but also say that (despite the bacon) this wasn’t an over the top great dish. 

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