Week 6: Marie: Vegetable Loaded Pasta Bake

This recipe is from Better Homes and Garden. It’s a bit more involved than my typical recipes, but I made it on a Sunday night and it was a good dish for a dinner and two days of lunches. It wasn’t the best reheated, like most pasta, but it was still tasty.

The modifications I made: I used broccoli instead of cauliflower, spinach instead of kale and mozzarella instead of cheddar because that’s what I had in the fridge. I also used tortellini instead of penne. I didn’t take a picture but there’s a one on the BHG website.

Vegetable-Loaded Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried whole wheat penne pasta (2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (1/2 medium head)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 12 ounces kale, stems removed, leaves torn (12 cups)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven cook pasta according to package directions; add cauliflower during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain; rinse. Set aside.
  2. In the same Dutch oven cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cook just until carrots are tender. Add kale; cook just until wilted. Stir in pasta mixture, peas, and corn.
  3. For cheese sauce, in a small saucepan melt butter; stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; add cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until melted. Stir sauce into pasta and vegetables. Transfer to a 2 1/2-quart casserole. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 5 minutes more.

 

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