Cooking With Stanley Week 53

Today's single item menu for Cooking With Stanley is one of my greatest achievements in the kitchen. I pushed this particular recipe off till towards the end because it looked so difficult and complicated. In other words, I was terrified. Even in the photo demonstration, Stanley has at least one person helping him. He talks about there being an assembly line at family events to put this together. I would be braving this all on my own. Introducing, the great Drum of Ziti and Great Stuff.

Drum of Ziti and Great Stuff

Let me begin by mentioning that I halved this recipe and omitted quite a few ingredients. This enormous stuffed something includes hard boiled eggs, salami, several cubed cheeses, meatballs and pasta. The sauce used had to be made in advance separately, as did the meatballs. A smart person would spread this heavy workload out over two days. I did not. I also left out the hard boiled eggs and salami because it did not sound appetizing. Maybe pepperoni would have been good but I'm the only one in my family who likes it.

My first concern was getting the dough right to actually fit in the pan. Once I accomplished that feat, I moved on to stuffing the dough. I had lots of pasta and meatballs left over even though I halved this recipe. It made for a good lunch a few times that week. The final step before letting it bake is to fold over the edges to completely enclose the filling. I honestly thought this would turn out to be a disaster. I was waiting for the thing to not bake, fall apart or even possibly explode.

But none of those things happened. In fact, it was such a success that I almost dropped the whole thing showing it off around the house. The even larger surprise, everyone liked it! My family, consisting of several people that have an issue of food being mixed together, enjoyed it. I was able to pull the entire drum out of the casserole successfully without breaking any of the crust. I cut it into wedges without it falling apart. This dish, to me, is the cooking equivalent to building a pyramid and I did it. Saying that I'm proud is a gross understatement. I will never be making this again though. If I do, it will be with an army to help me out.