simple broccoli-and-pasta casserole

This is not going to turn into a home-making blog, I promise!

But I hope you’ll like my super simple recipe for a quick, tasty, and at least somewhat healthy casserole. And the best thing is, there are so little utensils and basic ingredients needed that it can be made even by poor students without a huge army of cooking pots ;)

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Utensils:

  • cooking pot which should hold enough water for the first three ingedients, lid is optional
  • ovenproof dish (I use glass casserole dishes)
  • colander (or whatever you want to call it, strainer, sieve … just make sure it has holes which are small enough to keep the pasta in!); this can be omitted if you use a lid on your pot and know how to strain water by tilting it.
  • a wooden spatula or a spoon will be helpful it you want to bake the casserole immediately after cooking the ingredients!
  • sharp knife, cutting mat or plate, optional: cheese grater
  • cooking plate and oven

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 500 g of pasta of your choice
  • 2/3 or a whole broccoli head
  • 1/2 to 2 carrots, depending on your liking for them
  • some salt, whatever spices you want
  • cheese of your choice and amount
  • recommended: butter (or other kind of edible grease) for the dish
  • optional: tomato, second kind of cheese (e.g. cream cheese), diced bacon

Instructions

If you grate the cheese yourself, you might want to do this first of all.  Pre-packed grated cheese would be another option. Usually I just cut the cheese into small pieces while the other stuff is boiling, because grating young Gouda is no fun.

Put pot with water on the cooking plate. While the water heats, wash carrot and broccoli. Peel the carrot and cut it into small pieces (I prefer half slices), then separate the broccoli into small florets. When the water boils, put in pasta, carrot pieces, and broccoli (yes, I boil them all together in one pot, it really works), add a little salt. Wait until it all boils well, then lower the heat a little and let it all cook for about 10 minutes. (If the instructions on your bag of pasta instead says 12 or 15 minutes, you should follow that instruction, of course.)

For easier cleaning afterwards, cover the inside of your casserole dish with a thin layer of butter (I just take the butter and rub it over the glass, works best when the dish is slightly warm). If you cut your cheese by hand, you might want to do it now. In case you want to top your casserole with tomato slices, slice your tomato now.

After boiling pasta and vegetables, strain it all in a colander. Mix with spatula. If you’re a passionate carnivore, you can add some diced bacon as well. Put the first layer of your mixture into the dish, then cover with some of the cheese. Repeat until you have some nice layers. If you want to, you can put your tomato slices on the last pasta-and-vegetable-layer before you finish it all off with an extra thick layer of cheese.

Put in the oven, bake for approximately 25 minutes at about 200°C.

Tadaa, some yummy casserole :)

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