Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baked Cheesy Pasta With Vegetables

This pasta dish was so good! It was delicious and simple, and filling without making me feel stuffed. It's nice to have your whole meal in one dish. Plus, I really appreciated the cheese. This recipe makes 2 servings, so I'll be having leftovers.

60g whole wheat bow tie pasta (or 1/2 cup)
4 broccoli florets
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing your dishes
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper (I just turned the mill 10 times)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon grated Fontina cheese, divided
2 and 1/2 tablespoons + 1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, divided

you'll also need:
small pot of salted water
pasta strainer
small non-stick skillet with high sides
2 shallow oven-proof onion soup bowls
heat-proof spoon
baking sheet lined with foil (for easy cleanup)
small mixing bowl
cheese grater, smaller-hole side

1. wash the broccoli and break the florets into smaller pieces. Set aside.
2. bring the salted water to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook it until it's very firm, about 9 minutes. Three minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the water. When done, strain the pasta and broccoli and rinse them with cold water until they're cool. Put them back in the pot.

3. preheat the oven to 425F and grease the onion soup bowls. Place them on the cookie sheet and set aside.
4. melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat, then add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they're soft.
5. meanwhile, whisk the milk, flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Add it to the shallots and mushrooms. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. This should take about 5 minutes.
6. when the sauce has thickened, stir in the spinach. Take off the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the Fontina cheese and 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of the Parmesan until they're melted into the sauce.
7. dump the sauce mixture into the pot with the pasta and broccoli, and stir to coat evenly. Divide the pasta mixture evenly between the 2 onion soup bowls, and top with the remaining Fontina and Parmesan cheese.
8. bake the casseroles in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and is beginning to brown. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before eating: nothing spoils a delicious meal like burning your tongue.

I adapted this recipe from one I found in the magazine Woman's Day.

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