My family loved this dish - I served it with a "make your own salad". I set out a bowl of greens, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, cucumber and croutons - that my son had picked out while shopping today. It proved to be a very popular dish, and made up the main part of the meal for my very picky older son.
While making the pasta bake, I thought the cheese sauce would be rather skimpy. It did cover all of the ingredients, but I would still have liked for it all to be a little more creamy, and would double the cheese sauce recipe in the future.
VEGETABLE PASTA BAKE
8 ounces penne pasta
2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (1/2 medium head)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup whole kernel corn
1 recipe cheese sauce
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350F.
In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, add cauliflower the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain, rinse.
In the same pan, cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery, cook just until tender. Add kale, cook until just wilted. Stir in pasta mixture, peas and corn. Stir in cheese sauce. Transfer to 2 1/2 quart casserole, cover, bake 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with parmesan, bake 5 to 10 minutes more.
In a small saucepan melt 2 tablespoons butter, stir in 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Slowly add 1 cup milk, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until melted.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, January 2012