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Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr
If there's a group you want to please beyond words, make this dish. It is not without effort, but you and your guests will feel like you have eaten like kings. It's not the usual tomato rigatoni and it is quite rich, but it's one of those dishes you can have once in a while. I'm sure you could reduce the calories by using lower fat products, but I can't say what the end result would be. The recipe came from a friend (thanks Barbara) who used to be a member of a gourmet cooking group in Seattle. You be the judge! It was served with Romaine, Radocchio and Bibb Salad and rolls.
- 3 large red peppers, washed
- 1 1⁄2 lbs rigatoni pasta
- 1 1⁄2 lbs fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 (9 ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 6 1⁄2 tablespoons flour
- 4 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 2 1⁄2 cups packed grated Fontina cheese
- 3 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 2 1⁄2 ounces arugula, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 lbs smoked turkey breast, skin removed and cut into smallish pieces (or chicken can be used)
- Char peppers over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Put in a paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed peppers, cut into 1/2" pieces.
- Butter 15x10x2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Bring large pot ot salted water to boil, add pasta and boil 10-14 minutes until tender but still firm to bite.
- Blanch asparagus and artichoke hearts 2 minutes in boiling water; immediately pour cold water over to stop the cooking.
- Drain pasta and vegetables, toss with 1 tablespoons olive oil.
- Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 2 minutes.
- Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Cook until sauce thickens whisking constantly for about 8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add Fontina cheese and 2 1/4 cups parmesan cheese. Whisk until cheese is all melted; season with salt and pepper.
- Add cheese sauce, arugula, peppers and turkey/chicken to pasta mixture. Stir to coat and transfer to baking dish.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with vegetable sprayed foil.
- Can be prepared a day ahead, let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
- Bake 350 degrees F covered until heated through (about 50 minutes).
- Remove foil and bake till top is glazed ~10 minutes.