I have a tendency to get interested in one thing and go a little overboard. (You may have noticed a string of cookie posts about a year ago.) Well, I did it again. I only made two baked pastas, but it was within one week, which was too much baked pasta for Kaytie.
This was a good recipe, too, but it might be good to space your baked pastas out!
Baked Veggie Pasta
1 stick butter
1/2 c + 2 Tbs flour
4 c whole milk
6 slices bacon
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 c fresh basil, sliced
1/2 c roasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 onion, diced
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
10 oz spinach
4 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 lb pasta (choose your favorite shape)
2 Tbs butter
1-2 c grated Parmesan
First, make the bechamel. Melt the stick of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix in the flour. Add the milk. Increase the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast the garlic. I do this in the toaster oven - about 15 minutes at 400. Chop it up.
Chop up the bacon and saute it until just browned. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned. Set mushrooms and bacon aside.
Saute the onion until translucent. Add spinach and saute until wilted.
Stir the basil, nuts, bacon, and all veggies together in a medium bowl.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, but stop cooking a minute or two early. (I used radiatore because it looked awesome.) You want the pasta to be be just tender, but still firm. Drain, return to the pot, and toss to coat with 2 Tbs butter. Mix in the veggies.
Preheat oven to 400.
Dump the pasta mixture in a greased casserole dish. Spread the bechamel over it, and top with grated Parmesan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.