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This is the second baked pasta recipe we’ve shared (the first one we called Baked Pasta with Mushrooms and Kale), and the whole concept is slowly becoming a massive favorite around here. It’s unclear why it gets us even more excited than a “regular” pasta dish, but it somehow does. Maybe the fact that it is even more a-m-a-z-i-n-g as reheated leftovers/a packed lunch? Because that would be 100% true. This is such a weeknight winner – it comes together relatively quick, makes many servings and works great for any tupperware type of adventures the next day.
All in all, it’s a nice and easy “one-dish” meal, managing to meet a wide range of requirements. The humble (plant based) béchamel sauce adds a welcome gooeyness that we all love, but the recipe still packs a fair share of veggies in there. Chickpeas and pasta together make a complete meal with all the essential amino acids and will fill up even a hungry runner (tried and tested). And the flavors of fresh rosemary, sweet plum tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds… they all compliment each other very well, and add an almost extravagant touch. For as long as we have tomatoes coming from the garden, this will be a go-to for sure.
500 g pasta (fusilli, penne, farfalle… pick a winner!)
650 g dino kale (with stems), rinsed
2 small onions (~200 g), finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
500 g cooked chickpeas (~6 dl)
3-4 big twigs of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and finely chopped
400 g cherry/plum tomatoes, cut in half
Salt + black pepper
100 g cheese, grated
3/4 dl toasted pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp canola oil
5 tbsp flour
8 dl oat milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp salt
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (see package instructions for time). Drain, place in a big bowl and add a splash of canola oil to prevent pasta from sticking. Stir.
- Prepare the kale by first de-stemming and then giving the leaves a rough chop. Set these aside, and then chop the stems finely (any pieces thicker than your pinky might be a little tough – these can be discarded, or preferably saved for something else). Set aside.
- Set the oven to 220ºC. Heat up a splash of canola oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions and kale stems with 1/2 tsp salt for a few minutes, before adding in the garlic. Continue cooking for another few minutes, and then add the onion mixture to the pasta.
- Add another splash of oil to the pan, and then sauté the kale leaves a few minutes, until they’ve wilted down. Add these to the pasta as well, together with the chickpeas, halved tomatoes and the finely chopped fresh rosemary, and give it all a good stir.
- Make the béchamel sauce by heating up the canola oil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour until a paste forms, and then start adding in the oat milk, deciliter by deciliter. Keep the heat on medium-high and whisk – more or less constantly – until the sauce has thickened up a bit and been bubbling for at least a few minutes. Add in the spices and stir.
- “Grease” an ovenproof dish (approx. 28×35 cm) by spreading out a little bit of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then, pour all the remaining sauce into the big bowl/pot with all the other ingredients. Mix well, season to taste, and then transfer to the oven dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and pumpkin seeds, and then bake it in the middle of the oven for 15-17 min, or until the top has started to turn golden. Serve right away, or save for excellent lunch boxes.