Monday, 24 March 2014
Spring Vegetable Pasta Gratin
I often have odd vegetables lurking in the bottom of my fridge. By odd, I don't mean peculiar or rudely shaped, I just mean that I end up with a variety of different vegetables, but only small amounts of each. In an effort to reduce my food waste, I try to create delicious meals that use up these forlorn perishables.
This gratin worked really well and not only allowed me to use up all the vegetables in my fridge, but I even managed to finish some double cream that had been getting perilously near its use-by date as well. It's a lovely dish for spring, with the fresh, multi-coloured vegetables providing a soft contrast to the golden topping.
I'm sending this over to Chris at Cooking Around the World, who is hosting the No Waste Food Challenge this month on behalf of Elizabeth, of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.
RECIPE - serves 4
320g pasta (any 'short' pasta will do, I've used penne but shells would be good too)
1 tablespoon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 ml double cream
100 ml milk
140g fresh Parmesan, grated
handful of chives, chopped
Wash all the vegetables thoroughly. Dice the carrot and courgette, slice the leek, lettuce and cabbage. Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and cook all the vegetables for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add the vegetable stock, and salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, adding the chopped chives at the end.
Heat the cream and milk in a pan for a few minutes to thicken slightly, then add 100g of the grated Parmesan, salt and pepper.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain it well and mix with the vegetables. In a greased ovenproof dish, alternate layers of the pasta and vegetables with the creamy sauce and the rest of the Parmesan, finishing with a generous sprinkling of the cheese.
Put in a pre-heated hot oven (180°C) for 10 mins, then increase the heat to 240°C for a further 10 mins. When it's ready it should be golden, crispy and bubbling.