Lazy Pasta Bake
I get that we are beginning to sense a theme here… lazy and cheese. If you aren’t complaining, I’m not either. But if you are, kindly see yourself out because you clearly aren’t human. This is a throw together recipe and when I say there’s a lot of room for flexibility, I mean you could try out for the US gymnastics team by the time you’re done.
Weeknight cooking sucks pretty much always, and while this isn’t the shining example of work week artistry, it’s not a bad option. It’s warm and cheesy and will lull you to sleep getting you to the weekend that much quicker.
- You can use any ingredients here as long as you get the pasta and sauce right. I’m serious, grab all your old veggies and throw them in here because it’s only going to make it better.
- I used Boars Head chicken sausage here but feel free to omit that, change it out for bacon or shrimp, or both. Seriously, do you.
- Blanching and Shocking: it is when you simmer your product in hot water or broth until it is tender then immediately plunging it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- 1 box of Fusilli pasta (the curly kind) cooked in salted water
- 1 leek, sliced thin, white part only
- a handful of meaty mushrooms, coarsely chopped (I used shiitake)
- half a bunch of asparagus, trimmed, blanched and shocked
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2 Boars Head chicken bacon sausages, halved then sliced
- 4 oz of roux (2 oz fat, 2 oz flour)
- 3 cups of whole milk
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 dollop of grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 egg yolk
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- extra parmesan for topping
- chef knife
- cutting board
- pot for pasta
- pot for sauce
- 8×8 baking dish
- ice bath
- large bowl
- Mise en place all of your ingredients and wash your mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Blanch and shock your asparagus and use the blanching water to cook off your pasta. If the box says cook 6-8 minutes, cook it for 6, really until just tender. Drain and set aside.
- In your sauce pot, heat the pot then add the fat and sautee your leeks and mushrooms. Add the 2 oz of flour to create the roux.
- Add your whole milk and stir as it thickens. This may take a moment but if it doesn’t reach the desired thickness within 5-7 minutes, make a little more roux (in a separate pan) and continue to add it until your sauce thickens. Once it is thick, cook off any starchy taste remaining.
- Add the dijon and ½ cup of parmesan. Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.
- In a large bowl, mix your vegetables, pasta, egg yolk, and sausage then add your sauce and stir to coat.
- Transfer to a greased 8×8 baking dish and top with more cheese, bacon, bread crumbs, anything you want! Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes on 350 degrees and you’ll be set.