Recipe: Creamy Pasta Bake With Bacon And Asparagus
- 1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup grated reduced-fat pizza cheese
- 375g dried rigatoni pasta (see note)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, chopped
- 4 rashers 97% fat-free bacon, chopped
- 50g reduced-fat spread
- 1/3 cup plain flour 3 cups skim milk
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 5cm-deep, 22cm x 27cm (base) baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup cheese in a bowl. Set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Add asparagus for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain. Rinse under cold water.
- Return to pan. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add bacon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp. Add to pasta. Melt spread in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring, with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles.
- Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk. Return to medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in mustard, chives and remaining cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute or until cheese melts. Add sauce to pasta mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon into prepared dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve.
Number of servings (yield): 4
Meal type: breakfast
Culinary tradition: USA (General)