Casseroles can easily be prepared ahead of time for a quick and tasty meal, like my creamy Spring Pasta with Asparagus Casserole.
My Spring pasta bake can be assembled the day before, refrigerated, then baked the next day. Or you can bake, freeze and reheat it anytime you want. Either option gives you an easy and delicious meal at the ready! I just love asparagus; its perfect for a Spring meal.
Creamy Spring Pasta with Asparagus Casserole
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter
1/2 cup (2 oz.) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups whole milk
1 block (16 oz.) Swiss cheese, shredded
2/3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 package (16 oz.) rainbow bow-tie pasta, prepared according to pkg. directions
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 ounce Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Heat olive oil in pan. Add garlic, shallots and asparagus, sauteing for 5 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.
Whisk in dry mustard, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk in Swiss cheese and 2 oz. of Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta and cooked asparagus mixture. Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Process bread crumbs and 2 oz. of Parmesan cheese in a food processor until finely ground. Add 1 tablespoon of melted butter and process until combined. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake casserole in preheated oven until golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.