Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Results of Dinner Percolating

On my indecisive days, dinner percolates in my brain all afternoon and it's then that I get creative and come up with something new. For this meal I went from having no idea what I wanted to a serendipitous combination of tastes that used great items from my fridge and pantry. This dish combines some of my most favorite things; it's a cross between macaroni and cheese and a vegetable gratin, but very heavy on the vegetables.

There are several components that make this dish come together, but the actual hands-on time is short so it's quick enough for a weeknight.

Vegetable Pasta Gratin
serves 3-4

8 ounces broccoli florets
12 ounces butternut squash, cubed
1/2 red onion, cubed
1/2 apple, skin on and cubed
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup whole wheat pasta
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup low fat milk
3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used my favorite TJ's quattro formaggio blend)
salt to taste
1/2 cup toasted cornbread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the broccoli, squash, onion, and apple in a large bowl with the olive oil and salt to taste. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small pot, boil the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together until cooked and bubbling. Warm the milk in the microwave until hot and add to the butter-flour mixture. Whisk vigorously and cook together until the bechamel starts to thicken. Add the cheese and whisk until melted into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir the vegetables and pasta into the sauce.

Transfer to a baking dish in an even layer and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
And because I can't post here or there without a picture, my baking assistant (who is getting more and more interested in the action of 'eating') says hello:



Erica said...

This looks awesome! My ideal meal! Love of veggies with a little carb action to go with. Totally making it. And hello to your little cutie ;)

Tracy said...

This looks so delicious! And your baby is adorable :-)

Unknown said...

sounds like my kind of mac n cheese :) lyla is adorable... love her head of hair!!