Baked Pasta with Asparagus

Revised 2013 May 23

6 servings


3 quarts water, well salted
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 pound asparagus, cut into large pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup stock *
1/2 cup cream
1 pound penne
12 ounces Mozzarella grated
3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large sauté pan set on high heat, heat the olive oil until just sizzling. Add the garlic, sambal oelek, onion, peas and asparagus and cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. careful not to burn! Add the wine and boil until reduced by half (1-2 minutes).

Stir in the parsley, salt, pepper, broth and the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened

Lightly brown the bread crumbs in the butter. Set aside.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in the boiling water for three-quarters of the recommended cooking time. Drain the pasta well and return to the pot. Pour the finished sauce over the pasta and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes

Grease a 9 X 13 inch baking dish and spoon one-third of the pasta evenly over the bottom of the dish. Top with one-third of the mozzarella cheese, then one-third of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Repeat these layers 2 more times. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove the pasta from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

* I like chicken broth for this but vegetable stock would work too.
Doubles nicely
I tried using 1/2 & 1/2 with a generous dollop of sour cream but had to add a bit of a roux to finish

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