I’m a cheese lover and enjoy dollops of it in any form: salad dressings, dips, sauces, on a cracker with a nice lil grape- yumm! To honour my love for cheese, I decided to bake myself pasta in white sauce.
To add some spice and adventure, decided to make everything from scratch and boy was it fun!
Making a pasta can be broken up into the following tasks (in no order of priority):
- Which pasta to use
- Deciding on the sauce
- Selecting the vegetables to add that crispiness in eat bite
I started off by selecting the freshed vegetables that would go well with the creamy pasta sauce. We all know that mushrooms are a great hit so mushrooms it had to be. Along with that I chopped up some carrots and french beans as well.
With numerous list of pastas available in your local market, one can choose any shape to make their next meal. My personal favourite is Spaghettini or the linguine (least being penne), I picked Spaghettini.
As for the sauce, I had already planned to make sauce bechamel so I did not have to do much thinking there. Bechamel is one of the 5 foundations sauces in french cuisine which are used for making other sauces.
Everything decided, I started cooking the pasta.
Boil water and add a tsp of salt, oil and some balck pepper. To this add the pasta and let it cook till it is palish white and soft to the core. Drain and wash off the pasta.
Making the bechamel sauce is easier than one would think. To start with, a roux needs to be made out to equal quantities butter and all purpose flour. A roux is a basic mixture of butter and flour which is heated to make a base for various finds of sauces. The roux gives the sauces the thickness that it needs. The mixture needs to be cooked on medium heat for a minute for two to the max in order to cook the flour so that the sauce does not taste floury.
I switched all purpose flour with wheat flour and that did not affect the taste of the sauce. After the roux is ready, milk, onion, cloves, bay leaf, nutmeg need to be added and cooked on medium flam till the sauce thickens. I like to spice up the sauce a bit so I added some oregano and white pepper as well. The sauce is done when it can thickely coat the back of a spoon.
With the pasta and sauce ready, sauteeing the vegetables is the last activity left.
Heat some olive oil and sautee some garlic and diced mushrooms. Add carrots, French beans, capsicum with a pinch of salt. Cover and let it cook for 5 mins. The veggies can be left chrisp they will cook through when we put it for baking in the final round.
Now toss the pasta, sauce and veggies in an oven proof casserole and add shredded cheddar, parmesan and some chopped mint over the top.
Preheat the oven at 220 deg C and bake the pasta for 20 mins.
Voila, your pasta is ready to dig in!