From Pasta: 222 Easy Recipes, Academia Barilla, VMB Publishers, 2012.
Cold winter needs comforting foods and a rich creamy baked pasta seems just right. This particular one had to be made in several stages that eventually were brought together to make the final dish.
Firstly the vegetables had to be julienned: a carrot, a red capsicum, a turnip and a tomato, peeled and seeded. These were sautéed in a pan for a few minutes until softened.
The next stage was to make a béchamel sauce with 40g butter, 40g plain flour and two cups milk. This was seasoned and a little nutmeg added. Half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese and half a cup of grated pecorino cheese were added to the sauce and stirred in.
A large pot of salted water was brought to the boil and about 250g farfalle pasta added until almost cooked but not quite. It was then drained and added to the white sauce along with the vegetables.
A large eggplant was now sliced finely and the slices fried. These were used to line the bottom and sides of a casserole dish and the pasta mixture poured into the middle of this. The dish now went into a 180ºC oven for about 20 minutes until cooked through and the top nicely browned.
This was exactly what I imaged it would be: satisfying, creamy and cheesy with hints of smokiness from the eggplant. It went down really well with a green salad.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔