With cheesy mornay sauce, sweet caramelized onions, and ham all topped with croissants, this pasta dish is worth far more than the effort needed to make it.

Prep Time:

15 MIN

Cook Time:

30 MIN

Total Time:

45 Min

Serves:

4-6 People

Parisian Pasta Bake

Ingredients

1 cup Frick’s ham, chopped into small strips
1 large croissant, torn
1/4 cup fresh parsley and chives, minced
8 ounces dried pasta (Trivelle, Rotini, Campanelle, or Cavatappi)

MORNAY SAUCE:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or Fontina, Comte, Emmental)
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon French grey sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

CARAMELIZED ONIONS:
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
Pinch of French grey sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water for 8 min. (cook 1-2 min. less than recommended package directions, al dente), drain, toss with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.
  3. Make the Mornay Sauce: Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for about 1 min. to make a roux, being careful not to burn or brown. Slowly add the milk, whisking occasionally, until you get a smooth sauce consistency. Then add the garlic and simmer for about 5 min., remove smashed garlic clove. Stir in both of the cheeses, whisk until melted and you get a thick, creamy cheese sauce. Add more milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, to get a thinner sauce until thickness and consistency is to liking. You can also add more butter and flour (equal parts) to make the sauce thicker. Season with grey sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and reduce heat to low.
  4. Make the Caramelized Onions: Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned, then turn the heat down to low, add salt and pepper, and slowly cook onions for about 30 min., until sweet and caramelized.
  5. Make the Casserole: Grease a medium casserole dish with oil spray or butter. Add cooked pasta, top with cooked Frick’s ham, caramelized onions and Mornay sauce. Stir together until sauce is coating all the pasta.Top with additional shredded Gruyere and Parmesan cheese and bake for 15-17 min. until cheese is melted and bubbly. Turn oven up to a broil, add the torn croissants on top of the casserole, and broil on high for about 2 min. until the croissants are browned and crunchy (be careful not to burn!). Remove casserole from the oven and let cool for about 5 min. Add the fresh chives and parsley, serve immediately.

A Kristen Hess of The Artful Gourmet creation.

Pairing

Food Pairing

Mixed greens salad with a champagne-dijon vinaigrette dressing.

Drink Pairing

Crisp French white wine like Sauvignon or Sancerre.