Today is an auspicious day in the Hindu calender, it is Lord Krishna’s birthday. Lord Krishna is the supreme God in hinduism. We have been abstaining from meat for a few days now, thus another vegetarian dish, Roasted Brocolli Pasta Bake.
For those of you that don’t know I am Hindu and I do celebrate all the auspicious festivals. What I am not, is religious. There are certain rituals that I do perform, provided I understand why and I want my children to embrace our Hindu culture and never forget their roots.
In saying that I would prefer to be more spiritual rather. I don’t think I am quite there yet but with some work I’m slowly getting there. I don’t believe you have to be religious or preach the word of God to be a good person.
I am definitely a great believer in God, yes we need him in our lives. But before any religion I think we should all try to be better humans first and foremost. Be more kind and loving, that’s the religion I would like to follow.
On that note although I have been cooking a lot of veggies the past week, I just didn’t have the time to do the photos and write posts. However, yesterday I quickly captured photos of this Roasted Brocolli Pasta Bake, before my hungry family came rushing to the kitchen.
Trust me having them all at home, is seriously not working in my favour. No matter what I cook or bake they think it should be eaten immediately. Even when I try to cook early just so I can get my photos done, they think dinner is being served early…Lol! Mom and her boys!
I prefer to roast my brocolli before adding it to the pasta. The little charred bits definitely adds a nice flavor to the dish and there’s also no chance of the brocolli becoming mushy.
It is also a fuss-free step, you drizzle the brocolli with some oil, mix in some thyme, garlic and chilli flakes, salt and pepper and just pop it into the oven. This will cook whilst you get the other steps done.
Making the cheese sauce
The addition of onion gives the sauce a lovely crunchy element and how can you not have cheese. Loads of cheese is what makes this dish even more heavenly.
I used a combination of sharp cheddar and parmesan cheese. The more cheese the better. The sauce has a hint of mustard, fresh thyme and some garlic to the sauce.
Please do not give me bland food, everything has to be loaded with flavor or I may as well not eat. This Roasted Brocolli Pasta Bake, it is loaded with flavor, no doubt about that.
What pasta can I use
I prefer penne but you can use Rigatoni ( a ribbed tubular shaped pasta) or Fussili (short ribbons of pasta twisted into a shape resembling a screw)
Assembling the Pasta Bake
Once your brocolli is roasted you mix it into the cooked pasta. You then add your sauce and top it up with some panko breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs give this dish a lovely crunchy, cheesy texture. It works so well with the saucy pasta.
We absolutely loved it and I hope you do to.
If you do try my recipe please drop me a comment and a star rating, it is always appreciated.
More Baked dinners to try:
Roasted Brocolli Pasta Bake
- 2&1/2 cups pasta penne or rigatoni
- 1 x250gram brocolli head cut into small florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp cake wheat flour or all purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1/4 cup parmesan grated
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup cheddar grated
- 2 tbsp parmesan grated
- Chop the brocolli into small florets and rinse well. Mix in the other ingredients, oil, chilli flakes, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Spread on an ovenproof dish and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, the edges will be slightly charred
- Boil the pasta as per package instructions. Cook until al dente, reserve 1/4 cup of water, drain and set aside
- Place the butter in a pan. Once melted add the onion and cook until soft and translucent
- Add the garlic and fresh thyme and cook for a minute
- Add the flour and mix until it resembles a smooth paste, about a minute.
- Slowly add the milk and use a whisk to stir, this will prevent any lumps. Once all the milk is added allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens. Stir in the mustard. Add the 1/4 cup of pasta water and combine well. Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
- Mix 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs with 1 cup cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoon parmesan. Set aside
Layering the pasta bake
- Mix the pasta and roasted brocolli in an ovenproof dish. Pour the sauce over and mix. Sprinkle the panko breadcrumb mixture over. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
- You can turn on the grill function in the last 5 minutes if you prefer a little more golden brown topping
- I used low fat milk for the sauce but you could use fat free or full fat milk if you prefer
- You can reduce the cheese if you wish, but I think you need all of it
- I added a chilli to my sauce for an extra kick, I didn't add it to my recipe because it may not work for everyone. You can add it if you wish