Friday, September 02, 2011

Broccoli & Pasta Casseroles

I had high hopes for this since it sounds delicious, and we had a whole big bunch of beautiful fresh broccoli from the farm. And fresh ricotta from the dairy farm. The ricotta was so good, by the way. OK but. The whole thing was just meh. Pretty bland, even though I added garlic. I like my mom's broccoli parmesan casserole a lot better. I would not make this again.


Broccoli and Pasta Casseroles
Whole Living // Martha Stewart, February 2010

Using whole-wheat pasta and breadcrumbs boosts the fiber content of this crowd-pleaser and gives it an appealing nuttiness. Fat-free milk, part-skim ricotta, and a touch of sharp Parmesan lighten the casserole without sacrificing the taste or texture.

2 slices whole-wheat bread -- (1 ounce)
1 head broccoli -- (1 pound) cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion -- (5 ounces) (about 1 cup) finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground mustard
4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese -- pureed
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese -- (1 cup)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Process bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 8 minutes.

2. Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling water until slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, reserving water in pot. Add pasta to water, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.

3. Add oil and onion to clean pot over medium heat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add flour and ground mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream. Bring to a boil. Cook, whisking, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper.

4. Stir in broccoli and pasta. Transfer to six 1 1/2-cup ramekins or an 8 1/2-by-11-inch baking dish; top with breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbling and tops are browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Servings: 6

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