Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
This Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables is unlike anything you've had as a child.  You all know what I'm talking about when your Mom announced that you were having casserole for dinner and everyone went running for the hills.  Well this baked pasta dish is a far cry from the condensed soup version with those flavorless vegetables.  In this dish we season the vegetables then roast them in a hot oven to intensify their flavors and allow their natural sugars to caramelize.  This technique brings a whole new meaning to the word delicious.  The end result is a dish that will have you screaming for seconds.  


·         2 plum tomatoes
·         1 ½ cups broccoli florets
·         1 ½ cups cauliflower
·         1 bunch of asparagus
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1 clove of garlic, grated
·         red pepper flakes, to taste
·         2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano, grated
·         1 teaspoon thyme
·         Salt and pepper, to taste
·         8 oz gluten free penne

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce: 

·         2 tablespoons butter
·         2 tablespoons corn starch
·         2 cups milk
·         ¼ cup Pecorino Romano, grated
·         cayenne pepper, to taste
·         salt and pepper, to taste

Video Tutorial:  


1.       Preheat the oven to 400°F  or 205 °C
2.       Slice the tomatoes into pieces yielding 16 pieces per tomato, slice the broccoli florets and cauliflower into bite sized, remove the bottom 1/3 of the asparagus and slice them into 1-2 inch pieces then put all the veggies in a large mixing bowl.
3.       In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, thyme, and Salt and pepper.  After stirring these ingredients together, spoon the mixture over the chopped vegetables and stir until all of the veggies are thoroughly coated.
4.       Pour the vegetables onto a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray and bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.
5.       While this is baking prepare the pasta according to package instructions then drain, toss with a teaspoon of olive oil, and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
6.       Make the béchamel sauce using the instructions below.
7.       Mix the pasta, with the roasted vegetables and béchamel sauce then spoon the mixture into a greased 10x10 or 9x12 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and paprika then broil for 5-7 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.

Instructions for the béchamel sauce:

1.       In a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat melt the butter, then add the cornstarch and stir until smooth then continue stirring until the mixture just starts to turn golden about 4-5 minutes.
2.       Add the milk and continue stirring as you bring the mixture up to a boil then lower the heat and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened and reached a consistency that will coat the back of a wooden spoon.
3.       Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the Pecorino Romano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste.

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

This dish is fantastic as is however if you feel inclined to add some cooked chicken or a can of tuna to the dish prior to the final broil, I guess you could call this a casserole.  But this one won't make you scream and run away like you used to as a kid. 

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