From: Rachael Ray
Normally I'm not one a Rachael Ray person. Some of her recipes are good, but she's not quite my style. She does healthier stuff, I do things covered in cheese. Paula Deen's more my style I think. :) But this recipe caught my eye when I was watching her talk show a while back. I love Clam Chowder, and the thought of a chowder made into a pasta bake was intriguing. I didn't know if it would still have all my favorite aspects of the chowder (mainly the creaminess) so I had to try it.
It included most of the ingredients needed to make a chowder, plus a few extra:
- bread crumbs (I ground up flavored croutons)
- diced or minced clams
- olive oil (or evoo, since this is a Rachael Ray recipe)
Add your potatoes next. Along with all the clam juice and some water. Bring it all to a small bubble and let it simmer and cook the potatoes.
meanwhile, in ANOTHER pot, cook your pasta to the al dente stage.
When the pasta is done, save about a cup of the pasta water, drain the rest and add the pasta to your veggies. Mix them up good and set them aside.
Grab that pot you cooked your pasta in--we're making a roux!
When I was uploading this picture I thought to myself, "I wonder how many picture I have of me whisking a white sauce. . . .probably a LOT"
Make your roux by melting some butter and whisking in some flour. Add your pasta water and some milk. Bring it to a bubble and let it thicken up. Then add your clams.
Pour your roux mixture into the pasta and veggies and mix it up good.
Then pour it into a casserole dish. yes, it filled this dish FULL.
Sprinkle your cheese over the top, then sprinkle the bread crumbs. I did it backwards. I was trying to keep it dairy free (which is why I used olive oil instead of butter to saute the veggies, and soy milk to make the roux) but instead just took a bowl full out for K-girl.
If you do the cheese first, I bet it will melt down into the pasta, and then the bread crumbs will get crunchy. Feel free to mix them up with a little bit of melted butter or oil.
Cook it for about 20 minutes, just until the top gets brown. Or you can turn the broiler on a cook it for a few minutes. Everything is already cooked anyway!
and enjoy! My nephew took one look at it and said "No WAY am I eating that" so he got a hot dog for dinner. :)
NEW ENGLAND PASTA BAKE
From: Rachael Ray
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 yellow onion, cut into medium dice
- 1 stalk celery, cut into medium dice
- 2 carrots, cut into medium dice
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons, about 6 sprigs, fresh thyme leaves, minced (1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 3 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams and their juice, divided
- 1 pound of pasta shells
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender but not caramelized, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes, thyme, juice of the clams and 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and bring the liquids up to a bubble. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes.
While the veggies are simmering, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook to al dente according to package directions. Just before the pasta is ready, reserve a large mug of starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan it was cooked in.
While the veggies and pasta are cooking, place a medium saucepot over medium heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the milk and 1 cup of starchy cooking water into the roux and bring up to a bubble. Add the clams to the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Reserve warm.