Tuesday, February 25, 2014

sheet pan pasta gratin with kale...

slice of sheet pan pasta gratin with kale by alexandracooks, via Flickr
via AK
Delicious and easy.  I have wanted to cook a few more kale dishes and since pasta is a constant must for me, this one hit the spot. Putting it together took very little time as I had broken up the kale in the morning.  Helpful hit:  I use to chop my kale. Nope, it's easier to just tear it off the stem/vein and then tear it again into pieces.  Once the dish was assembled, I just left it on the counter until we were ready to eat and then popped it in the oven until it was brown and bubbly and just plain pretty.
  • 3/4 pound pasta, penne or campanelle or anything you like
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • about 8 oz kale or Swiss chard, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • a scant cup (6 oz) fontina or fresh mozzarella, diced into small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt. Boil pasta for 2 minutes less than the box's suggested al dente time. (For example, my campanelle box said 'al dente perfection' in 10 to 11 minutes. I boiled mine for 8.) Drain. Do not rinse. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add flour, whisking constantly for about a minute. Add milk and water, whisking to remove any of the flour-butter mixture from bottom of pan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Note: the mixture will not get super thick, but it will coat the back of a spoon, and if you run your finger through the coating, the trail should stay — see photo. Remove from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the kale or chard into small pieces. In a large mixing bowl, toss pasta with bechamel and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Fold in chopped kale.
  5. Line a jelly roll pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Spread macaroni mixture over top. Distribute mozzarella or fontina cubes over top.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, checking after 10 minutes or so. (Note: If it looks too brown after 10-15 minutes, reduce oven to 400ºF for the remainder of the cooking time.) The gratin should be bubbling and golden at the edges. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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