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Creamy Baked Pasta with Spring Greens

Posted Apr 04 2012 8:43pm

Don’t forget – if you celebrate Easter, you need to buy eggs! Just a friendly reminder. Farmer’s markets are opening like crazy around here, so check your local market for the best eggs around (then make my sriracha deviled eggs )!

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Now, you’ll have to eat something other than ham and eggs this weekend, so I highly suggest this vegetarian pasta. It’s simple and though it’s reminiscent of macaroni and cheese , it tastes more…mature. This was highly adapted from the original Bon Appetit recipe, found here .

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In-season greens are showing up at your local markets, and you’ll definitely need the best greens for this dish. Kale, arugula, Swiss chard, spinach? The world is your oyster garden!

Creamy Pasta with Spring Greens

by Every Little Thing

Keywords: bake entree vegetarian Italian

Ingredients (serves 4)

Instructions

Butter an 8X8 baking dish, then dust the dish all over with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Melt the rest of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, whisking often. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, whisking frequently, until sauce is thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Fontina and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Add the egg and whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the sauce and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 375 and arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven. Cook the pasta until almost al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven). Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to a large bowl. Add the peas to the pasta water and cook until just tender, about a minute. Drain the peas and add to the pasta. Stir in the cheese sauce, then add your greens and parsley. Mix evenly.

Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish and even out. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting slices!

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This recipe looks a little extensive but honestly, it’s not difficult in the slightest.

  1. Butter and cheese the baking dish
  2. Cook the sauce
  3. Cook the pasta (while preheating the oven!)
  4. Cook the peas
  5. Combine all ingredients and pour into dish
  6. Top with crumbs and cheese
  7. Bake!

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While I melted the cheesy sauce together, I used this awesome gadget I found on clearance at Target. It’s a spoon rest that hooks onto the side of your pot! I’m sorry, but this is genius and for $3, I couldn’t resist.

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Back to work.

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Not that eating this pasta is work. In fact, it’s pretty darn fun. It’s light and doesn’t feel laden with heavy cheeses and cream. Use soy or almond milk to reduce dairy, and buy good cheese (especially for the Fontina!) and you’ll really feel like an adult while scarfing down your mac and cheese.

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Enjoy this now, while greens are plentiful and the getting is good!

Question: How often do you slip greens into baked dishes? What’s your favorite green to use?

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