ooo, the camera lens got misty with the steaming hot pasta
Somtimes we simply dont feel like eating chapati at night and both my husband and I are not great fans of rice either. So it actually gets really difficult to think what to make for dinner. A couple of nights back I just did not feel like cooking. I checked the freezer and nothing seemed intresting and then I noticed I had a bag of mixed vegetables in Butter sauce. I had got this from Trader Joes. Humm,I thought that would save me a lot of trouble of cutting veggies. yes, that was it I decided to make Veg Au Gratin.
Its very weird, I have never seen anything like that in the restaurants here in San Diego. But its so common back in India. That was one of the first things I learnt in my Cookery Class when I was in class X. Its a complete comfort food,perfect for a cold evening.
Here is the recipe.
For the white sauce
- 2-3 tbsp Maida
- 3-4 tbsp of butter
- 2 cups milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp oregano
For the Gratin
- 1/2 packet Pasta- macaroni pasta or penne. (I used half a packet of the 1 lbs bag)
- 1-2 cups Vegetables (carrot, peas, beans, corn, cauliflower- all diced and boiled). I used the frozen vegetables from Trader Joes.
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese.
- In a pan, melt the butter. Saute the maida till about 5 minutes. Do not let it brown.
- Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, so that no lumps are formed. In case you do get lumps, strain the mixture and then return it to heat.
- Add the salt,pepper and oregano.
- Boil the pasta as per the instructions.
- Drain the pasta. Keep aside.
- Add the boiled or frozen veggies to the simmering white sauce. cook for about five minutes.
- Add the pasta and mix everything up.
- Turn the heat off. Its ok if you find the pasta sauce a little liquidy, the pasta tends to soak the sauce.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Dish out the pasta into an oven proof dish. Cover the top with grated mozzarella.
- Bake in the oven for 10- 15 mins or till the cheese turns brown.
- Take it out from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve hot with garlic bread.
Note: If the white sauce tends to thicken up, you can add some pasta liquid (the water in which you boiled the pasta). This will help you thin the sauce a bit.