Pasta Au Gratin with Vegetables

Gratin is basically a French dish cooked/baked in a shallow dish with ingredients covered with cheese. Vegetable Au Gratin is the most common recipe prepared in Au Gratin form. Fish, seafood, Chicken can also be prepared in Au gratin form. I have used pasta (macaroni) in the regular vegetable Au gratin to make it a full meal with salad.
It is very simple and easy recipe to try. It is also a great way to make your kids eat all the veggies without any hassle. It is basically cooked in white sauce and cheese. I have tried the recipe with a little twist of red sauce and cheese to make it more healthier. White sauce uses maida (All purpose flour) which we will not be using in this version of the recipe.

Also,this recipe can taste bland at times, so I have indian-ised it with few of our spices and flavors.

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Ingredients:

For Sauce:

  • Tomatoes – 10 big nos.
  • Garlic cloves – 10 nos., finely chopped
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Salt – to taste

For Veggies:

  • Beans – 1 Cup, finely chopped
  • Carrot -1 Cup, finely chopped
  • Capsicum -1 Cup, finely chopped
  • Cauliflower -1 Cup, finely chopped
  • Spring onions – 1 Cup, finely chopped (Save some of the green part for decoration)
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper Powder – 1tsp
  • Black pepper – 1tsp, grinded
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Fresh Cream – 2 tbsp
  • Milk – 1 cup

For Au Gratin:

  • Above prepared veggies and tomato sauce
  • Mayonnaise – 1 tsp
  • Macaroni – 2 cups, boiled
  • Mozzarella Cheese – 1 cup freshly grated

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Method:

Step 1: Sauce

  1. Take the tomatoes in a big sauce pan. Cut them from the bottom in a cross. Add water and boil them.
  2. After boiling run them under tap water, so that the skin starts to come off. Peel off the skin from all the tomatoes.
  3. Grind half the tomatoes and chop the other half.
  4. Take the sauce pan, add oil. Add garlic and chopped tomatoes. Cook them for 2 mins on high flame.
  5. Add pureed tomatoes, salt ,sugar and cook till the water starts to dry up. Please note we do not have to dry up the water completely. Also, keep stirring.
  6. Add Basil and oregano and turn off the gas. Cover the pan and let it cool under steam.

Step 2: Veggies

  1. Melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan. Add all the veggies and stir them. Then add salt, pepper powder, black pepper and cumin powder. Let it cook till the vegetables are half cooked.
  2. Add cream and milk and cook till oil separates.

Step 3: Macaroni

  1. Take a pan, add oil and water. Bring it to boil. Then add salt and macaroni. Keep stirring and boil till macaroni softens.
  2. Drain the macaroni and transfer to a big bowl.

Step 4: Assemble in Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven at 230 degree C.
  2. Take the Casserole or bake tray. Apply butter to all the sides and spread vegetables, prepared in step 2, evenly in the tray.
  3. Add a layer of the mayonnaise now on top of the vegetables.
  4. Spread boiled macaroni evenly as our third layer, totally covering vegetables and mayonnaise.
  5. Now spread tomato sauce, prepared in step 1, evenly over the entire sheet of macaroni.
  6. Finish the layering with grated cheese and chopped greens of spring onion.
  7. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. Bake again for 5-7 minutes, until you get a light golden brown top layer.

And it is ready. Enjoy and savor!

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Notes:

  1. You can use the vegetables easily available at your home or of your choice. Vegetables other than the ones used can be; peas, broccoli, potato, Corn or Eggplant.
  2. If you do not want to use pasta in your recipe, you can simply follow step 1, 2 and 4 for Vegetable Au Gratin.
  3. Tomato sauce prepared here is easily available in market as Pizza Sauce. If you want to save on time, you can buy from market. Though homemade is healthy with no preservatives and tastes better.
  4. Mayonnaise is totally optional.

 

You can also see our other baking recipe of Eggless Dryfruit cake and our recipes in Chinese cuisine Veg Fried Rice And Manchurian Gravy.

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