Baked Pasta with Mushrooms and Kale

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Our inaugural recipe featuring mushrooms is finally here! Even though we both like mushrooms and cook with them fairly often, we haven’t managed to put together a recipe that felt good enough to share until now. This one is as easy as can be, and quite the perfect weeknight dinner – plus, it can prevent food waste by inviting leftover pasta into the mix. Here, we’ve gone for (frozen) kale from last summer as far as the vegetable, but it’s easy to picture how this dish could look different throughout the year. Broccoli florets, spinach, Brussels sprouts… options are endless as we move through the seasons. That’s really all there is to it – enjoy!

Serves 6-8

500 g pasta, such as penne
1 medium yellow onion (~150 g), chopped
500 g cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 g frozen kale, thawed and roughly chopped (you can use fresh too, but it’ll need to be blanched first, which means you need a lot of it)
4 tbsp canola oil
6 tbsp flour
8 dl oat milk
1/2-1 tsp ground white pepper
500 g cooked chickpeas (~8 dl), drained and rinsed
3 tbsp dried thyme
100 g grated cheese (~2 1/2 dl)
Canola oil and salt

  1. 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.
  2. Set the oven to 220ºC. Sauté onion over medium heat in 1 tbsp canola oil and 1/2 tsp salt for a few minutes. Add in mushrooms, and let cook for about 10 min. Add in garlic, and then a minute or so later, stir in kale. Allow for everything to sit in the pan for a few minutes or until most (but not all) of the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
  3. Make the béchamel sauce by adding the canola oil to a pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until a yellow-ish paste forms, and then add in the oat milk, a little at a time. Whisk away for about 10 min or until thickened, and then remove from the heat. Stir in white pepper (start with the lesser amount and add more if you like, based on taste) and 1 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Add the sautéed vegetables, chickpeas and almost all of the béchamel sauce (reserve a couple of spoonfuls) to the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add in thyme and give it all a good stir, distributing the sauce evenly and making sure it’s all well blended. Season to taste.
  5. “Grease” an oven dish (approx. 28×35 cm) with the remaining béchamel by spreading it out over the bottom. Then, place the pasta and veggie mix in the dish and even it out. Sprinkle with the cheese, and then bake for about 15 min or until slightly golden. Allow to set for 5 min before serving. Reheats very well, and makes excellent leftover lunches.

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