Serve with a green salad and crusty whole grain bread.
- 3 cups (750 mL) penne pasta, about 8 oz (250 g)
- 1 bunch Ontario Asparagus, (about 1lb/500g) trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
- 2 Ontario shallots, diced
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly grated pepper
- 2 cups (500 mL) grated Asiago or white sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs*
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly butter a 10 cup (2.5 L) baking dish.
- In a large pot of boiled, salted water, cook pasta until almost tender, about 6 minutes. Add asparagus and cook until pasta and asparagus are tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, then gradually whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in pepper and simmer a few minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup (250 mL) cheese until melted.
- Combine pasta, asparagus and cheese sauce; spoon into baking dish. Combine remaining cheese and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over pasta. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown.
Tip: *Remove crusts from 2 slices of bread, tear bread into pieces and place in food processor. Whirl until crumbs.
Feel free to add in a little steamed broccoli in addition, or in place of asparagus too!
Nutrients per serving: 437 calories, 20 g total fat, 399 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 21 g protein. Excellent source of thiamin, riboflavin, folate and calcium. Good source of vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iron.