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>Home >Recipes >Dinner >Orecchiette & Arugula Casserole

RECIPES

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I came across this recipe from an interesting site called Not Eating Out in New York written by Cathy Erway, the blogger behind the site. I’ve only slightly modified the recipe and although it only serves 2, you can easily double or triple.  It is rich enough served on its own for dinner with a crisp side salad and pair it with Dolcetto or Pinot Grigio.  If you cannot find Orecchiette you can use another small shaped pasta like Penne or Elbow or even a spiral shaped noodle to capture the creamy béchamel cheese sauce.  Rich Fontina is velvety smooth when it melts and adds a nutty character to the sauce.  If unavailable, use another Alpine cheese like Gruyere or Raclette.  Lastly, I like to play around with the greens, try kale, spinach, or broccoli rabe.  Bon Appetito!

Makes 2 servings
Source:  http://noteatingoutinny.com/

1 1/2 cups Orecchiette pasta
1 bunch arugula, washed, stems trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons basil pesto
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
 1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Fontina

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 Bring a medium saucepan with salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the box’s directions to al dente. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and refill the pot with the cooking water. Bring to a boil again, and drop in the washed and trimmed arugula to blanch for 30 seconds or until bright green (other firmer greens may take longer). Remove with tongs and submerge immediately into an ice water bath to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Drain, and roughly chop the greens.

To make the sauce: In the same pot, cook the butter and flour over medium-low heat, stirring until bubbly and evenly dispersed. Add the milk and cream and keep stirring over medium heat until it begins to bubble and thicken. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, pesto, spices, salt and pepper and mix well.  Add the drained pasta, arugula and the pine nuts and mix well. Taste for seasoning and re-season to your liking.

Divide mixture into two greased individual au gratin dishes or small, oven-proof bakeware. Top evenly with the grated cheese. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes  or until top is lightly browned. Let cool before serving.

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