Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
This is from a recent airing of Rachel Ray. A great way to get the veggies in there - and a scrumptious way to get your side dishes done!! ;) Hope you enjoy it too! I am sort of slow in the kitchen so it probably takes me longer than she does, I think she did it in under 25 minutes! ***I could not make it that fast, and I have edited times and steps to reflect reviewer responses. Thanks Melissa!!
- 1 lb spiral shaped pasta
- 1⁄2 lb center-cut bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (EVOO)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (yellow)
- 2 cups jalapeno jack cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen peas
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, fresh chopped (optional)
- pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Once water is boiling, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta until done to ALMOST al dente, about 7 minutes depending on package directions (you want it a little undercooked).
- Preheat broiler and set rack 12 inches from heat.
- As the pasta is cooking, heat a deep, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of EVOO and add the bacon.
- Cook the bacon until crispy and golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and hold.
- Add another tablespoon EVOO to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan, then add onions,peppers, and zucchini then cook until tender, 4-5 minutes; set aside.
- Sprinkle in flour and cook another minute or two before adding the chicken broth (it should look quite pasty and thick).
- Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, seasoning with salt and pepper, then stir in the mustard.
- Reduce heat and add 1 1/2 cups of each cheese.
- Stir to melt, 1 minute.
- Adjust seasoning with mustard, salt and pepper, to your taste.
- Drain pasta well.
- Combine pasta, veggies, cheese sauce, bacon and chopped parsley (if desired), then pour into large casserole and top with remaining cheese.
- Transfer to oven at 400 degrees to melt and brown cheese, about 6 minutes, and serve.
I'll start by saying this dish is very good!! The recipe seems incomplete, however: The bacon, after the cooking stage, is not mentioned again in the recipe. The peppers and zucchini are not cooked in the recipe. Parsley is mentioned in the instructions but not in the ingredients. My changes: I cooked the onions, peppers, and zucchini over high heat until tender and browned, because I couldn't imagine putting those veggies in raw with frozen peas and only popping the dish under the broiler for 2 minutes. I then set them aside and made my roux. I skipped the parsley altogether. After I poured the dish into a casserole I sprinkled on half of the cheese, then half of the bacon, the rest of the cheese, and the rest of the bacon. I then cooked it at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes and it was perfect. I think it's a great dish, and while I certainly could NEVER make it in under 30 minutes, it's not a tough one to make. Part of my struggle time-wise was with making sense of the recipe. My family loved it! The flavors of the veggies and the cheeses, with the suprise of the mustard, is fantastic.