Vegetable Pasta Gratin

Comfort food like macaroni and cheese will never go away, thank goodness. With this version that is easy to put together vegetables are added to add fibre and flavour to the pasta dish. A crunchy breadcrumb topping adds to the kid (big and little) appeal.

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cooking: 20 min - 25 min
Yields 4 - 6 servings
vegetable pasta gratin

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme leaves
  • 3 cups (750 mL) warm Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded Canadian old Cheddar or Asiago cheese
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 4 cups (1 L) rotini or fusilli pasta
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chopped broccoli or frozen California style mixed vegetables
  • Gratin Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 ˚F (220 ˚C).

In saucepan melt butter over medium heat and whisk in flour and thyme. Whisk for 1 minute. Gradually pour in milk and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring with wooden spoon for about 8 minutes or until thickened enough to coat the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, mustard, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according directions on package until al dente. Add broccoli and cook for the last 4 min, so it can be tender but firm. Drain well and return to pot. Add cheese sauce and stir to combine well. Pour into 10-cup (2.5 L) oval baking dish.

Gratin Topping

: In bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, butter, parsley and Canadian Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over pasta and cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes or until top is golden brown and pasta is bubbly.

Tips

It’s easy to make fresh breadcrumbs with bread products you have at home like hot dog buns, sliced bread, English muffins or hamburger buns. Simply put them in the food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form.

Using warm milk in the sauce helps it cook quicker, so simply heat milk in 4 cup (1 L) glass measuring cup and heat on High for 2 to 3 minutes.

Make ahead: Want this dish for the next night, simply wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake in 350 ˚F (180 ˚C) oven for about 30 minutes, uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until top is golden brown and pasta is bubbly.

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