A full meal for the final Om(nom)! Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

Well, everyone, I’m sorry to say that we’ve made it to the end. To finish off the year, I polled friends and readers to ask what they would want for the final Om(nom) and several people suggested I do a full meal. Wish granted! This meal is rich, comforting and cheesy, just the way I like it! Ahem, I mean the way you like it.
I want to thank everyone for a wonderful year—readers, coworkers and friends alike. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with all of you. I’m also pleased to announce that although The Om(nom)nivore’s Dilemma is leaving the Review, it’s not leaving you! This summer, we’ll be launching a website dedicated to bringing you delicious food on a reasonable budget. So stay tuned, and good luck with finals!

Total Cost: $26
Makes: Four to five servings

Caprese pasta. Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review.Caprese Penne Pasta
Ingredients:
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce 
1/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves

Directions: Boil water and cook pasta according to directions, about 10-12 minutes for al dente. While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in heavy cream and grated Parmesan. Once pasta is done, drain and pour into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in the mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop three or four fresh basil leaves and add them. Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 F until cheese is golden and bubbly.Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese. You can also add in chicken, steak or seafood for some protein.

Rustic grissini
Ingredients:
3/4 cup warm milk
1 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flourRustic grissini. Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed dried Italian herbs
freshly crushed black pepper
white sesame seeds (black also optional)

Directions: Add the sugar and yeast to the milk, mix and let the yeast dissolve. Put the flours, olive oil, salt and herbs in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix until the dough is soft and elastic. Add more milk if required. Divide the dough in half and place in an oiled bowl, coating both balls of dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise, about one hour. Remove one ball of dough and place on a lightly oiled surface. Roll out into a thin rectangle (as thin as you can comfortably roll out). Lightly dampen the top of the rectangle with water and sprinkle with crushed black pepper and sesame seeds. Lightly run a rolling pin over the dough rectangle to push the seeds into the dough. Using a pizza cutter cut the dough lengthwise into strips one third of an inch wide, twist and put on a baking sheet. Bake the grissini at 400 F for about 15 minutes until they are nice and golden brown.

Chocolate gelato! Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

 

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato
Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Natural or Dutch-Process)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring two cups of the milk to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining one cup milk with the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in another bowl. Scrape the cocoa mixture into the hot milk. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles a little at the edges. Then boil gently, stirring, for two minutes longer. Scrape into a bowl and let cool. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap placed directly against the surface and chill overnight. Technically this requires an ice cream maker, but I made mine without one, and it was still super tasty. Just use high quality chocolate, and you’re set!