Bechamel Recipes

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Morel and Blue Cheese Pasta Gratin Recipe (Cheese Pasta Casserole) Recipe

Our vacation is coming to an end, and we head back home in the morning. For the ride back, I made a pasta gratin using radiatore pasta with fresh morels and a blue cheese white sauce. You know, just in case anyone gets hungry! I combined the ingredients in a casserole dish sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese and served the gratin casserole dish with tomato and greens.

I got many of the ingredients yesterday at the Rogue Valley Farmers' Market in Ashland, where I discovered a myriad of wonderful fresh products. I was particularly drawn to the white raspberries, Oregonian goat sausages and fresh morels. After purchasing the ingredients at the market, in the afternoon we visited the headquarters of Harry and David where I bought some delicious blue cheese that ended up in this dish. Southern Oregon has turned out to be absolutely delicious!


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Roasted Asparagus and Fresh Morel Pasta Recipe Recipe

Roasted asparagus pasta with fresh morels (pâtes aux morilles fraîches et asperges vertes) is a creamy, rich pasta dish. How could it not be delicious? First, I sautéed the morels in butter, added a white sauce (béchamel) mixed with crème fraîche, then tossed spaghetti rigati in the sauce. The final touch was roasted baby asparagus for contrast of color and some crunch, and lemon to cut the richness of the sauce. I chose baby asparagus because it most closely matches the thickness of the pasta and you can eat the whole stalks.

It was a perfect meal for a romantic dinner with my husband. I'm trying to be better about my eating habits, so I served smaller portions with a big salad. Eating right doesn’t have to mean giving up the foods you like. In fact, I think we have a better chance of maintaining healthy eating habits if we’re enjoying our meals. So enjoy this pasta; it might even help you lose weight!

Asparagus Pasta Recipe with Picture


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Saffron Cauliflower Gratin (Gratin de Chou Fleur au Safran) Recipe

Saffron is not a standard addition to cauliflower gratin, but I've seen it used at several upscale restaurants in Paris. Gratin de chou-fleur is a very common French dish, so the addition of saffron creates a new dimension of color and aroma.

As a child, I remember being served this side dish quite frequently during the winter. Cauliflower may not be considered by some as a comfort food, but when it's cooked in a béchamel sauce and smothered in mozzarella cheese, it will make even the most die-hard cauliflower haters reconsider their position.


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Baked Spinach Penne Pasta (Gratin de Pates Aux Epinards) Recipe

For me, baked pasta is the ultimate comfort food. What could be better than pasta and spinach mixed with creamy béchamel sauce and smothered in melted cheese? This dish is very similar to a spinach lasagna, but without the extra work of layering everything.

I've found that it's one of the easiest ways to get the girls to eat their vegetables. Each serving is packed with spinach, but who can tell, what with all the cream and cheese? I didn't say it's the healthiest way to get kids to eat their vegetables, just the easiest...


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Pasta Shells Stuffed with Porcini Mushroom Walnut Pesto Recipe

This is a vegetarian pasta dish that even a meat lover won't be able to resist. The porcini mushrooms add a rich, meaty flavor to the pesto, and the walnuts provide a crunchy kick. You could serve the pesto with any pasta, but I like the pasta shells because of their presentation value.

As an added bonus, the pesto is not only really easy to make, but will keep very well in the freezer. Make some extra and you'll be able to whip up a quick meal when you're in a hurry.


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