Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pasta Casserole with Crunchy Topping


Sometimes, a creamy pasta is all you really want for dinner. Add a crunchy topping, and I'm in heaven. You can use whatever veggies you like in this - I think broccoli and red peppers would be super. I use a store bought cheese sauce, but by all means make your own if you prefer that. And the crème fraîche and mascarpone - totally optional, for me it was a good way to use up a few different pots of dairy stuff.

Pasta Casserole with Crunchy Topping

500 g penne pasta
400 ml creamy cheese sauce
100 ml crème fraîche
50 g mascarpone
280 g bacon
1 leek
200 g mushrooms

For the topping:
100 ml panko or regular breadcrumbs (Panko is Japanese and can be found in many specialty food stores or Asian markets - definitely my favorite breadcrumbs)
2 garlic cloves, minced
100 ml emmenthaler, grated
a few knobs of butter

Heat the oven to 200°C.

Boil the pasta in lightly salted water, for a minute or so shorter than the time given on the packet. It should still retail some bite.

Dice bacon, slice the leek and the mushrooms. Fry the bacon until crispy and drain it on some paper to remove most of the fat. Fry the mushrooms and the leek in whatever bacon fat remains in the pan, until it's browned slightly. Mix the mushroom, leek, bacon and pasta.

Add the cheese sauce, crème fraîche and mascarpone. Stir well and pour into a large oven-proof dish.

In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs, cheese and minced garlic for the topping. Sprinkle on top of the pasta. Top with a few evenly placed knobs of butter.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Blanda panko, ost och vitlökshack till täcket, och strö över gratängen. Avsluta med några små klickar smör, jämnt fördelade.

Gratinera i ca 20 minuter.

Recipe in Swedish:
Pastagratäng med knaprigt täcke


Anna Banana said...

Thank you, Anne! I was wondering how to use up my broccoli, red pepper, and mascarpone. This will go to my church potluck tonight.

glamah16 said...

I could eat that wwhole casserole up. Great combos.

Amelia Ames said...

Anne, that sounds really yummy, and very familiar to home-made macaroni and cheese in the US.

I too love panko. You know it makes the lightest and fluffiest meat balls!

african vanielje said...

I am a big fan of 'what have you got suppers'. It is always a good way to discover new dishes and use up whatever you've got hanging around. This looks yummy