I decided to forgo the gym yesterday – the weather was just so rainy that it just felt better snuggled up on the couch next to my pup Eleanor and watching the SVU Marathon that is on constant record. I know what you’re thinking… I live in AZ – the desert – how much rain could you possibly get? Well, it wasn’t so much the rain that prevented me from journeying to LA Fitness, it was the intense dust storm and powerful winds that prevented me from even opening my front door. Basically, the weather held me hostage, which I was okay with.
So I busted out my emergency bottle of red wine and indulged in this pasta dish:
Broccoli Gruyere Pasta Bake
- 1 lb penne or any pasta
- 1 red onion , roughly chopped
- 1 lb head broccoli , stalks chopped and florets halved
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tsp French or German mustard
- 1 cup pot half fat crème fraîche
- 1/2 c grated mature Gruyère or cheddar
- small handful parsley leaves, chopped
- 4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs (or put 1 slice crustless white bread through a food processor)
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs or thyme
- Parmesan, optional
- Boil the pasta, onion and broccoli stalks in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 7 mins, then add the florets and cook for another 3 mins. Reserve about 1 1/2 cup of the water, then drain the pasta and vegetables.
- Return the reserved water to the pan and dissolve the stock cube, whisk in the mustard and crème fraîche, then season to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir in the drained pasta, vegetables and half the cheese, mixing until melted. Stir in the parsley.
- Heat the broiler for 3 mins. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, then scatter on top.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes, turning if it starts to brown. Keep watching so the top doesn’t start to burn or the cheese will toughen. Remove and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.