Rigatoni pasta is baked with roasted red bell peppers, asparagus, artichoke hearts, arugula and a mild cheese sauce.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 3 large red bell peppers
- 1 1/2 (16 ounce) packages rigatoni pasta
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 (8 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 6 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 2 1/4 cups packed shredded fontina cheese
- 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 (5 ounce) packages arugula - rinsed, dried and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 4 quart baking dish.
Roast peppers on a gas grill or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Place in plastic bag for 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel and seed peppers; slice into 1/2 inch slices.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes; add asparagus and artichokes and cook 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with olive oil.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Cook until sauce thickens, whisking frequently, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Fontina cheese and 2 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over pasta and stir in arugula and red bell peppers. Pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.