Neapolitan-style deep fried Macaroni and Cheese & A Wild Mountain Music Festival Giveaway. The perfect finger food for an incredible music-filled, fun-filled, kid-friendly weekend such as this. What kid would not want fried mac and cheese and parents you will love that it is so easy for the kids to eat while you watch all the amazing artists perform in a setting of Hinton with its beautiful backdrop of the Northern Alberta's beautiful Rocky Mountains. [Sponsored Post]
Song of the day: "Boy inside the Man" by Tom Cochrane and Red Rider.
[This post is sponsored by The Wild Mountain Music Festival. We were compensated monetarily and provided with free passes, including a giveaway for our readers.]
Neapolitan-style deep fried Macaroni and Cheese & A Wild Mountain Music Festival bring people together in a most unifying way. Music, dancing, singing, and kids running and playing all together as one big family enjoying wonderful festival eats and incredible live music, you could not ask for a better weekend family outing than this.
Ever since I was little, age 4-5, I had a passion for music, starting at the United Conservatory of Music studying accordion then later piano, then even a bit later convincing my mother to buy me a drum set as I was destined to be a drummer. These days I have quite a collection of instruments that I am learning to play in my music room or man cave as some call it, so I can safely and truthfully say that concerts, music festivals, have a very deep and special place in my heart.
I remember my first huge concert and hearing that sound so strong that beat of the base drum, I felt it in my soul. There was something that happened to me at that concert as people were up dancing and singing together with the band and I started to cry as this overwhelming feeling of unity came to me. I thought to myself, this is incredible, people of all walks of life, culture, age, for just a few moments united by a common simple thread called music. This moment changed my life forever and every concert experience since then has been special and incredible and one that I cherish, sharing with Nicoletta, my beautiful wife, friend, and partner. I know she feels the same about concerts as I have experienced her in Italy singing her heart out while on the cell phone with her and I hear that oh so familiar unity of tons of people singing and being joyful together.
I had some opportunities to play on stage, not on big stages but a stage all the same, and I cannot describe the energy I feel for days after. I can only imagine what it would be like to play on a grander scale and hear the drums that I have constructed in full sound, that would be a dream come true. Nicoletta always tells me it is never too late and that makes me feel so much better.
Nicoletta and I can't wait to experience the weekend at The Wild Mountain Music Festival in the great outdoors of panoramic scenic outskirts of Hinton, Alberta's playground.
If you don't know what to do for a summer getaway, pack up the camping gear and the kids next weekend from the 13th to 15th of July and take the drive to Hinton and dance, sing, play, laugh, and smile with us! It is truly a kid-friendly festival with a crafts area, drop in programming for those times you may want a break to enjoy some of the live music. This festival is 100% volunteer run, so a big shout out goes out to them!
The line up is incredible: music for the young and old, The Family Stone, The Good Brothers, Ken Stead, Fred Penner for the kids, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider one of my favorites, and so so many more that may soon become your favorite.
Tickets are available here but, hey! you even have a chance to win a free weekend pass (value: 180 CAD). Just enter, 'cause you never know. This could be your lucky day! Scroll down for more information!
Let's talk concert food: how about a Neapolitan-style Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese?
Nicoletta and I were inspired by our trip to Naples. You could not get a better place filled with music and festivals. On one of the side streets an amazing street food kiosk. It was there that I tasted for the first time the "frittatine di maccheroni" as they're called, deep fried pasta, and now we want to share it with all of you music festival lovers. Pull up a chair, kids come sit up here, we are going to teach you how to make this most delectable Neapolitan-style Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese!
Quite easy to make with few ingredients, including:
- Bucatini pasta, broken into 3 pieces
- Flour, butter, nutmeg, milk, salt and pepper for the thick bechamel
- Prosciutto cotto (Italian-style ham)
- Fresh peas with onions, sauteed
- Provola cheese (Italian made cheese)
- Flour, cold water, salt and pepper for the batter
So pasta is cooked, bechamel is done, peas nicely sauteed, prosciutto cotto cubed along with the provola cheese. The next part is the fun part where we get our hands dirty and gooey. First wash our hands then pour pasta, peas, provola, and bechamel and mix the mixture until it is well distributed and well mixed. My hands were all full of the bechamel and when I was finished mixing I licked my fingers to taste the mixture and I give it two thumbs up! This is going to be so good. Into a dish it goes all leveled and pressed, then into the fridge to rest overnight. You don't have to rest it overnight, a few hours in the fridge will truly set it up. Another fun part, which I think the kids can get involved in, is the cutting of the pasta rounds, but before that, we are going to mix up the flour, water, salt and pepper and our batter is ready. Now the rounds, with a cookie cutter we cut some beautiful rounds and those go into the batter getting all well coated. The oil was preheating and I find 360 degrees F works well to get them nice and golden. In goes the batter coated pasta and in just a turn and a few minutes they come out hot and on goes a sprinkling of Parmigiano just because we are Italian and love our cheese. Why use salt when you have Parmigiano Reggiano. Now the 'bestest' part, eating them, not before you test your luck.
This is where you enter the giveaway!
Enter to win a free weekend pass + camping (180 CAD value!) to this amazing music festival which will take place in Hinton, AB, from July 13th to 15th. All you need to do to enter is to comment on this post with your favorite music festival food and leave your email address. A winner will be selected randomly on Wednesday, July 11th. Note that it is only open to residents of Alberta.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I absolutely love these. The coating crisp and so tasty with that punch of Parmigiano. The bechamel just oozes with the starchiness of the warm bucatini. The peas come in as little surprises of freshness and nestled so beautifully with those melted morsels of deliciously rich provola cheese. I love the way that prosciutto cotto gives this sweetness and tenderness. It is truly a symphony of texture and taste perfect for kids and especially for the child in all of us.
Let's sit back, listen to the amazing artists of The Wild Mountain Music Festival and raise our hands in unison holding our Neapolitan-style Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese up!
Song of the day: "Boy inside the Man" by Tom Cochrane and Red Rider.Print
- 250 g bucatini pasta
- 500 ml bechamel
- 125 g provola, cut in little cubes
- 100 g sweet peas (fresh, frozen, or in a jar)
- 125 g prosciutto cotto (ham) in 1 thick slice, cut in little cubes
- 1 small onion
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the bechamel:
- 500 ml milk (we used organic 2%)
- 100 g all-purpose flour
- 63 g unsalted butter
- grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
For the batter:
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 300 ml cold water
- salt and pepper to taste
For the sweet peas:
- Put the oil in a pan on low heat, add the minced onion and saute until translucent. Add the peas, salt, and pepper.
- Let the peas mingle with the onion, then add ¼ cup of water. Cook until it is all evaporated and peas are tender but not too mushy. Set aside to cool.
For the bechamel sauce:
- Heat the milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Add the butter in a wok or deep saute pan on medium heat. As soon as it melts sprinkle the flour in, stirring with a whisk or a wooden spoon, to form the roux.
- Now add the warm milk slowly, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon or whisk to avoid any lumps (in case you have lumps, you can mix everything with an immersion blender or pass it through a sieve and it will come back smooth and velvety). Cook until it starts to bubble, then add the grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper. It is a dense bechamel, so don't worry if it looks too thick. Set aside to cool.
For the batter:
- Add the sifted flour in a medium bowl. Slowly add the water, stirring with a whisk to avoid the formation of lumps. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
For the macaroni and cheese:
- Put some salted water on boil, then add the bucatini, breaking each strand into three pieces. Cook for half of the cooking time to have them al dente. Drain and arrange them on a baking sheet to cool.
- Cut the ham and the provola into small cubes and pour into a large bowl.
- Add the sweet peas, the pasta, the béchamel and some pepper.
- Wash your hands well and mix everything (it will be much easier than using a spoon because the mixture is heavy and sticky).
- Pour everything into a baking dish that has a height of 5 cm. Level off, pressing down the mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight (we left it overnight).
- Take a cookie ring (or glass or cup or whatever you like) about 5-6 cm (2.5 inches) in diameter and cut rounds from the pan. Continue until all the pasta is finished, reshaping the scraps if necessary.
- Place a tall pot on the stove on medium-high heat with enough oil to submerge the pasta rounds.
- Dip the pasta rounds in the batter, then fry 2-3 at a time at 365° F, for about 2 minutes, turning rounds over at the 1-minute mark. Drain on paper towel.
- Grate some Parmigiano on top, once they come out of the oil. Eat them hot, or reheat in an oven on a baking sheet to crisp up.
You can freeze the pasta rounds, wrapped tightly in plastic and put into a ziplock bag. When you want to use them, thaw them, then dip them in the batter and fry them. In case you want to freeze some of them, reduce the quantity of the batter.
You can make them smaller but you might have to adjust the cooking time.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Deep frying
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: deep fried festival food macaroni and cheese provola bechamel sweet peas prosciutto cotto finger food
[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by The Wild Mountain Music Festival. We were compensated monetarily and provided with free passes, including a giveaway for our readers.]
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.