Spring Vegetable Rigatoni Bake

Not everyday in spring is sunny. Dull and rainy days are still a regular occurrence all year round in the UK. This recipe combines the coziness of a cheesy pasta bake with fresh seasonal vegetables that are in abundance this time of year.

Ingredients

  • 350g rigatoni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 450g asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 head of red or white Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 150g fontina cheese, grated (can be substituted for emmental or gruyere)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 425g ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet/pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan along with a pinch of salt and sauté until just tender, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the asparagus and sauté until bright green and slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the Swiss chard leaves to the pan and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the peas to the pan and cook until just heated through.
  6. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking pan (any medium size pan/tray will do) along with the cooked pasta and mix together.
  7. Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the whole milk, heavy cream, and basil. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the fontina cheese and the ricotta, until melted. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir the cheese mixture into the pasta and veggie mixture. Top with the grated mozzarella.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden. Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments! 😀

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