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Autumn has arrived, with its unique and warm atmosphere. In the kitchen, making a pasta gratin requires little effort and allows you to enjoy it two days in a row or freeze it for easy pleasure on a lazy evening. Additionally, in many homes, pasta is unanimous. This is a quick evening meal and a recipe that accommodates leftovers from the fridge. Guess you’ll need at least two ingredients to make a good pasta gratin: pasta and cheese. In its classic form, in addition to cheese (often Gruyère or Parmesan), there is mainly ham, smoked ham or bacon bits, all covered in béchamel sauce. Do not skimp on the quality of the pasta to obtain a good result. The danger with pasta gratin is overcooking it. Good quality pasta will last longer.
Then you have to choose the type of pasta. Of course, it depends on everyone’s taste, but we tend to favor the so-called hollow pasta: such as macaroni, shells, penne rigat, cannelloni, etc. Because they will allow your gratin to be more airy. For most au gratin purists, al dente cooking is recommended. Also be careful to add the right amount of sauce, so as not to have a very dry gratin at the end of cooking. For garnishes, consider using your leftovers from the fridge first, then, depending on the occasion, to enhance your preparation.
A handful of ideas
Several possibilities are open to you for a gratin, full of flavor, classic or original, according to your desire of the moment: curry, chicken breast, cumin, onion, zucchini; fresh figs, parma ham, grated gruyere cheese; Tomatoes, oysters; Onion, garlic, white wine, thyme, bay leaf; Ground beef, green peppers, corn kernels, onions, grated cheese, Tabasco; Chicken breast, pancetta, pitted black olives; Broccoli, prosciutto, gorgonzola; beef, 1 red onion, garlic clove, fresh mint, fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1 lemon; Pesto, Provencal herbs, chicken breast, yellow pepper; goat cheese, black olives, fresh rosemary, fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, balsamic vinegar; Chinese cabbage, bamboo shoots, red pepper, scampi; Serrano ham, chorizo, mozzarella, white mushrooms; cooked chicken breast, diced peaches or juice, fresh sage; white mushrooms, 1 small eggplant, hazelnuts, gorgonzola, oregano; morels, sweetbreads, fresh cream; piperade, chipolata; fresh pineapple, dried apricots, scampi; duck breast, green asparagus, balsamic; Tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts, goat cheese, chorizo; caramelized onions, bacon, granny smith; potatoes, fontina, rosemary, bacon; Ricotta, pesto, asparagus, mushrooms; mascarpone, pesto, crispy baked ham, hazelnuts; cambozola, confit garlic, olives; Iceberg salad, parmesan cream, parmesan shavings, chicken strips, garlic.
Béchamel sauce, or béchamel, is a white and creamy sauce. It usually consists of only three ingredients: flour, milk and butter. Béchamel sauce is wrongly believed to have originated in France. In fact, this sauce is of Italian origin, more precisely from Tuscany. It was called “salsa cola” (meaning “sticky sauce”), because it was originally a binding ingredient in many pasta or vegetable dishes. The preparation involves adding milk to a white roux, a cooked mixture made of equal parts flour and butter. Then add a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste the sauce, then cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Start by washing the pan (so that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom). Melt 50g of butter over low heat, then add 50g of flour. Mix to form a paste then, off the heat, pour 1 liter of whole milk into the saucepan. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the milk boils (don’t worry, you’ll see lumps appear at first, but keep stirring until the butter melts). The sauce will begin to thicken and become smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add nutmeg to taste.
When we think of gratin, we usually think of two options: adding some butter to a base of breadcrumbs or covering the gratin with cheese. However, to bring out the flavors, it’s best to drizzle your dish very lightly with flavored oil before baking. During cooking, the oil will spread its flavor throughout the dish. For a basic garlic oil, you need 450 ml of olive oil, 6 large cloves of garlic, 15 peppercorns. Peel the garlic cloves and cut into thin slices. Put the oil in a saute pan, add the garlic and chillies and heat (the temperature of the oil should be between warm and hot). Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before transferring to a sterile bottle (thaw the garlic strips first, then place a small funnel into the bottle to pour in the aromatic oil). To make an oil with spices and not based on a vegetable or spice, 1 c for a month. c. spices (espellet pepper, oregano, basil, etc.) and 1 tbsp. pepper in a neutral oil at s.
Pasta Gratin with Brussels Sprouts, Gruyere and Goat Cheese, Flavored Oil
For 4 to 6 people – Preparation: 20 minutes – Cooking: 20 minutes
500 g rigatoni (or other pasta of your choice) I 750 g fresh Brussels sprouts, halved I 250 g Gruyere cheese, cubed I 150 g goat cheese, cubed I 100 g ricotta cheese I 4 tbsp. s in olive oil I 2 coarse garlic cloves I 4 dried sage leaves I 1 tbsp. c. Provencal herbs I 50 g Parmesan I Salt and fresh pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (M. 6-7).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta and Brussels sprouts at the same time (about 12 minutes cooking). Make blended oil.
- In a small pan, heat the olive oil with the finely minced garlic cloves, sage leaves and Provencal herbs. Fry for 30 seconds before removing the pan from the heat. Cool and cover. Drain the pasta and cabbage, and reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooking water.
- In a salad bowl, place the cooked pasta, cabbage, Gruyère cubes and ladles of Gouda cheese, ricotta and cooking water and toss well. Season. Transfer the preparation to a gratin dish, drizzle with oil (leave the garlic and sage in the gratin), cover with a thin layer of grated parmesan and bake for 10 minutes.
Zucchini and goat cheese gnocchi gratin
Serves 6 – Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins
500 g potato gnocchi I 3 courgettes I 200 g fresh goat cheese I 2 sprigs of rosemary I 2 cloves of garlic I 50 g parmesan cheese I olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (th. 7).
- Plunge the gnocchi into boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain. In the same water, cook the thinly sliced zucchini for 4 minutes.
- Grease a baking dish with olive oil. Peel and mince the garlic cloves, add the rosemary powder to the goat cheese. Mix the gnocchi, zucchini and goat cheese mixture. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan. Grill for 20 minutes.
Pasta gratin with cheese, pancetta and pine nuts
Serves 6 – Prep: 10 mins Cook: 25 mins
50 pine nuts I 100 g chopped pancetta I 500 g small pasta of your choice I 500 ml full liquid cream I 200 g grated gruyere or cheddar cheese I 1 tbsp. s of mustard i salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (M. 6-7).
- Dry toast the pine nuts in a pan. Remove and reserve. In the same skillet, grill the pancetta for a few minutes. Cook pasta in salted boiling water.
- Meanwhile, heat the cream with the cheese in a saucepan until the cheese melts. Add the mustard. Season with nutmeg and taste.
- When pasta is cooked, mix with cheese sauce, place in a gratin dish, cover with pancetta and pine nuts. Bake for 20 minutes.