Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Leftovers reheat well in microwave.
- 1 lb asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb penne
- salt, pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes. Remove and add penne and cook until al dente, about 10-15 minutes.
- Make white sauce with butter, flour and milk. Remove from heat and stir in mascarpone and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Combine butter and breadcrumbs, stir in cheese.
- Stir together pasta, cheese sauce, nuts and mix well. Pour into 9x13 pan prepared with cooking spray and top with breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake at 350°F uncovered 30 minutes, longer if refrigerated.
Call it Penne & a Little Asparagus Casserole and it would be appropriate. Somewhat disappointed, as I made it pretty much according to the recipe and found it bland and all pasta. StacyMD and LazyChef made multiple additions which in hindsight, I should have heeded. It's not that the recipe is bad, I feel it's only a platform upon which to build a really good recipe. Next time, I'll start by cutting the penne to a 1/2 pound, and add some of the other ingredients like the onion, garlic, chicken, mushrooms that the others added by instinct.
Great casserole, even DH liked it! I made a half recipe, added some swiss cheese b/c I had it on hand and subbed cream cheese for the mascarpone. Used bowtie pasta which worked fine. Left out the pine nuts since I didn't have any. Great the first night, but unfortunately, didn't reheat that well in my opinion--wasn't bad but seemed dry when reheated. Oh, and I added a chicken breast that I seasoned with salt/pepper/garlic powder and sauteed. Would add more next time; I liked the addition! Thanks for posting!
I had some asaparagus I needed to use up and thought about using my bechamel sauce and needed to come up with a casserole...yours fit the bill! I added fresh mushrooms, and a bay leaf and small diced onion to the white sauce and a bit more nutmeg. I didn't have pine nuts so used slivered almonds that I crushed up and no breadcrumbs. Also added some shredded swiss cheese to this. The addition of mascarpone cheese was great! The kids who hate asparagus inhaled this! Thanks so much for a great recipe!!!