In March, Bon Appetit had an issue with several recipes for baked pastas. Seemed like a great idea - make one dish and eat it for a few days. When Kaytie and I are busy, leftovers are a quick and easy dinner. (This, by the way, is being posted months after I actually made it. I was too busy to post.) I, however, am not very good at sticking to a recipe. (Unless it is a baked good.)
According to the writers, all you need for a baked pasta is pasta (of course), some interesting fillings, and a bechamel. I decided that bacon is also an essential ingredient. In the recipe I chose, the bechamel was replaced with a parsnip puree. I figured this was healthier, and, with a few modifications, it ended up tasting great.
4 medium parsnips, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 1/2 c whole milk, divided
1 c grated Parmesan cheese, divided
6-8 slices bacon
5 oz spinach, sauteed
1 large onion, diced
1 can tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 20-oz pkg cheese-filled fresh tortellini
2 Tbs butter
1 c Naked Goat cheese, grated
Boil parsnips in salted water for about 20 minutes, until they are tender. Drain.
Put the parsnips in a food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, and blend until smooth. Keep the food processor running, and slowly add the remaining 1 cup milk. Blend in 3/4 cup of Parmesan.
In a medium saucepan, simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, whisking often. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Chop the bacon into small pieces and saute it until crispy. Remove the bacon. Add the onion and saute until translucent - about 5 minutes. Remove the onion and saute the mushrooms until they are browned. Add the onions, garlic, and rosemary. Saute until fragrant.
Preheat oven to 400 and grease a baking dish.
Cook the pasta. Follow the package directions, but stop cooking when the pasta is just tender but still firm. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Toss the pasta with 2 Tbs butter. Mix in the sauteed veggies and bacon.
Spread the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Cover it with the parsnip sauce and top the entire dish with the Naked Goat cheese and the remaining Parmesan.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes until the sauce is heated through and bubbling. If you want, broil 1-2 minutes to brown the top.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.