Well it looks like the cold, well ok “the cold” for my part of Italy has arrived and what better way to stay warm and comfy than with a plate of Creamy Broccoli Bacon Pasta Casserole?
Creamy Broccoli Bacon Pasta Casserole, is the perfect weeknight pasta recipe.
Broccoli grows pretty well in Italy, so needless to say my husband and his brother decided that we needed broccoli and lots of it.
So the other day when I went to my friend’s grocery store, I thought I would ask if she had any new suggestions for this head of broccoli.
At first she gave me the usual suggestions, breaded or sautéed in some olive oil, the usual.
But I wanted something different, and so she told me about this delicious baked pasta recipe, Creamy Broccoli Bacon Pasta Casserole.
And why not? You can never have enough Baked Pasta dishes in my opinion.
Creamy Broccoli Bacon Pasta Casserole
Her recipe called for Italian sausages but since the Italian isn’t a great lover of sausages (crazy I know),I decided to switch it up with Pancetta instead.
If you can’t get Pancetta then bacon will do. Now imagine this, pasta and broccoli cooked al dente, mixed in a creamy white sauce, topped with chopped Pancetta and then sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Now this Creamy Broccoli Bacon Pasta Casserole sounds like a comfort food wouldn’t you say? Buon Appetito!
- 1 small head of broccoli broken into small florets
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or more if you wish
- 1/3 cup cubed pancetta or bacon (or 2 or 3 Italian sausages casing removed)
- fresh thyme
- 3 cups cooked short pasta
- WHITE SAUCE
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Pre-heat oven to 350°, lightly grease a 8 x 6 inch casserole dish.
In a large pot of salted water first boil the broccoli florets until al dente, drain well and set aside, in the same water cook the pasta al dente, drain well.
In a small pan with 1 tablespoon of oil cook pancetta (bacon or sausage) until lightly golden, remove from pan and drain on paper towel lined plate.
In a medium pot on medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour and salt until smooth then gradually add milk and stir continuously until smooth and thickened. Gently fold in broccoli and pasta, then gently fold in Pancetta, turn into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with fresh thyme. Bake for approximately 15 minutes (I also broil it for about 2-3 minutes to brown the top). Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Updated from January 20, 2016.