Pasta au gratin with asparagus and ham

by: Margherita Romagnoli

  • Preparation 15 min
  • Cooking 20 min
  • Portions 6 pers.

Ingredients needed

Serves 4 à 6

  • 1 package Favuzzi ricciole
  • 2 tbsp Favuzzi intense extra virgin olive oil + 4 tbsp for later
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut in pieces
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 3 heaping tbsp butter + butter to grease the pan
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • Salt, nutmeg (optional)
  • ¾ cup (or more) natural ham, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup cheddar (or similar) cheese, grated or cut in small pieces
  • About 5 tbsp grated parmesan

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Steps of preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and grease a baking dish with butter.
  2. Cook the ricciole in a pot of boiling salted water, following package instructions but reducing cooking time by 1 minute.
  3. Drain the pasta and transfer to a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil. Set aside.
  4. In a pan, brown the onion in 4 tbsp olive oil for 4-5 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t dry out or stick.
  5. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt, and cook 10-12 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not too soft. Set aside.
  6. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and cook 1-2 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the milk, a pinch of salt and nutmeg, and stir until the bechamel thickens. Turn off the heat.
  8. Combine the asparagus and the ham with the pasta, then add the bechamel, the cheddar and 2 tbsp parmesan and mix well.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and bake for 10 minutes or so. Serve hot.

*Asparagus lovers may want to add a second bunch.

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