Pasta casseroles to make and bake

December 03, 1997|By G. Franco Romagnoli | G. Franco Romagnoli,EATING WELL

The reason for baking pasta is self-evident: Dinner is ready when the hungry hordes descend. Whether you're feeding a sophisticated group of adults or stilling the collective appetite of an adolescents' gathering, all of these pastas offer make-ahead luxury with a lightness and flair that breaks free from the same old lasagna.

Fettuccine Timbale

Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups 1-percent milk, heated

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 15-ounce container nonfat ricotta cheese

2 ounces prosciutto or lean ham, cut in 1/4-inch dice

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound dried fettuccine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan or coat it with nonstick spray. Coat pan with 1/4 cup bread crumbs, tapping out the excess. Put a pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add hot milk and bring to a simmer, whisking until smooth and slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool for 5 minutes. Add eggs, mozzarella, ricotta, prosciutto (or ham) and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Mix well.

Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in boiling salted water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Add to cheese mixture and mix well. (The pasta mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Spoon pasta mixture into prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over timbale.

Bake timbale for 40 to 55 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, remove ring and place timbale on a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Per serving: 390 calories; 30 grams protein, 12 grams fat (4.3 grams saturated fat), 42 Grams carbohydrate; 605 mg sodium; 150 mg cholesterol; 0 grams fiber.

Baked Tortellini

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups 1-percent milk, heated

1/2 cup grated fontina cheese

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini, preferably low-fat

1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil (or coat with nonstick spray) 4 individual gratin dishes or a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Put a pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add hot milk and bring to a simmer, whisking, until smooth and slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup fontina and nutmeg, stirring to melt cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cook tortellini in boiling salted water until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Toss with cheese sauce.

Divide tortellini among prepared dishes. Top with remaining 1/4 cup fontina. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over gratins. (The gratins will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.)

Bake gratins for 15 to 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 510 calories per serving: 27 grams protein, 14 grams fat (4.7 grams saturated fat), 68 grams carbohydrate; 1,045 mg sodium; 64 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fiber.

Pub Date: 12/03/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.