Zapitalism to me is one of the best computer games out there yet I doubt anyone I know has even heard of it before let alone played it. That’s probably because Zap is a business simulation game created way back in 1997, but I guess that’s just one of the perks of having an older brother! Our brother is 9 years older than us, but that age gap never gets in the way of all our silly shenanigans (sure makes us feel like the world’s luckiest little sisters!). Growing up with a caring big brother (aka built-in baby sitter) meant midnight gaming sessions and lots of fun times spent as Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi. Our brother introduced us to just about every electronic game we like and the epitome is Zapitalism.
Zapitalism combines beautifully rendered graphic images in a game of business strategy. You will be able to make deals with the eccentric inhabitants of Zapinalia, invest in stocks & bonds, corner the market and construct megastores. You can also venture out to explore the Archipelago of Mermadan in search of treasure and mysterious relics. The first player to build a retail empire and outwit the competition wins. -Lavamind
However given its 20th century roots and ancient Windows XP configuration, we hadn’t been able to play the game since we got rid of our old computer many years ago. This past weekend our brother and sister-in-law came over for the baby shower, but this visit our brother came equipped with what is now our designated “zaptop” (turns out our sister-in-law still kept her Windows XP college laptop)! For the first time in forever, there was nothing in our way and so it was a midnight gaming session of Zapitalism that inspired this dish.
Zapparoni is one of the products you can fill your store with. And unlike bar lickers, cake thrashers, sea froth, and belly bras, it’s usually a “great deal,” up there with wolly bats, gallegoms, weezers, and yaffle cushions. This 5-ingredient macaroni pasta bake is so simple, yet tastes so complex. The roasted grape tomatoes and fresh basil provide bold flavor, while the creamy mascarpone and crispy parmigiano-reggiano exude rich undertones. The perfect blend of indulgent cheeses and tangy tomatos, this zesty macaroni is definitely worthy of being called Zapparoni.
Makes 6 servings
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 2 oz parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Place halved tomatoes on a baking sheet and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, until plumped and juicy.
- Meanwhile, cook the macaroni al dente according to the instructions on its box. Drain the pasta, but make sure to reserve a little bit of the hot water (about 2 tbsp).
- Return drained pasta to the pot and stir in the mascarpone cheese over low heat until melted. Stir in a few tablespoons of the reserved water, half of the parmigiano reggiano, basil, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with the remaining parmigiano reggiano. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.