Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Vegie pasta bake


400g penne
2 tbs olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
200g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
380g broccoli, trimmed, cut into small florets
400g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded,cut into 1.5cm pieces
160g baby spinach leaves

Low-fat cheese sauce
  • 560ml (2 1/4 cups) low-fat milk
  • 35g (1/4 cup) cornflour
  • 240g (1 cup) fresh ricotta
  • 120g (1 1/2 cups) shredded light tasty cheese

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the leek, garlic and thyme, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Increase heat to high. Add the mushroom, broccoli and pumpkin. cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the spinach. Remove from heat.

To make the cheese sauce, place 500ml (2 cups) of milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring almost to the boil. Combine the cornflour and remaining milk in a jug. Stir into the hot milk. cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the ricotta and 80g (1 cup) of cheese until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the pumpkin mixture and sauce into the pasta. Transfer to a 3L (12-cup) capacity baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden.