Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mostaccioli with a Twist

My mom makes this delicious pasta casserole that the whole family loves, which can be found here that is called Mostaccioli.  This week I was looking for a good way to use up the swiss chard I got in the bountiful basket last Saturday and I found a manicotti recipe by Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network that I wanted to try.  I didnt have manicotti noodles and it seemed like I could easily morph it into a sort of mostaccioli recipe with a twist.  Here is what we ended up with.

Sweet Pea and Swiss Chard Mostaccioli

1 1/2 lbs penne rigate pasta (I used whole wheat, but regular works too)
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
3/4 c frozen peas
olive oil
1 head swiss chard, stems removed
1 medium white onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c mozzarella cheese
3/4 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper

white sauce
1/2 stick of butter
3 tbsp flour
2 c milk
1 c chicken broth
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 diced tomato, optional

Cook pasta to pkg directions to al dente, then drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil, and then saute the onion and garlic and then add swiss chard til its all wilted.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Most of the time I say you can substitute a blender for a food processor, but in this case I totally wish I had a food processor.   If you use a blender, make sure the frozen peas are defrosted first so you don't have trouble with the blender blades not working.

In the food processor, blend together the ricotta, peas, chard and onion mixture, salt and pepper and mozzarella and parmesan.

Make white sauce by melting the butter and then whisking in the flour to create a roux.  Add your milk and stir til thickened and add the chicken broth and parmesan cheese.  Stir til combined and thickened again, and then add basil and tomato at the very end.  Mix this sauce with the pasta, and then place half of the pasta in the bottom of the pan, cover with the ricotta mixture, and the top with more pasta and more grated mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


No comments:

Post a Comment