This is a lighter but very delicious version of a Greek favorite. The addition sweet peppers elevates the red sauce giving it a little pop and using Asiago cheese in the cream sauce makes the entire dish substantial. Serve with a lightly dressed green salad and sourdough bread. Serves 4-6.
- 3/4 pound penne or small shell pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 ½ chopped white mushrooms
- 6 mini sweet chili peppers (about 2-3 inch long; yellow or red)
- 1 can 28 oz. of diced tomatoes
- 1 can 15 oz. diced tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Fuller’s Paravangna Blend
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leavesSalt and freshly ground black pepper as desired
Bechamel (Cream Sauce):
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg (about ¼ teaspoon)
- 1 ½ cup grated aged Asiago cheese
- ¾ cup grated Pecorino cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the water to a boil for pasta, salt the water and under cook the pasta by about 2 minutes. While the water comes to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add the onions and cooked for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until onions and mushrooms are softened. Then add Paravangna blend, garlic, sweet peppers, parsley, salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep warm while making the cream sauce.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a sauce pot over medium to medium-high heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and stir 1 minute. Whisk in milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the Asiago cheese until melted and combined.
Drain the pasta, place in a bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoon olive oil. Butter/oil a casserole dish lightly and spread about ½ cup of red sauce. Then place ½ of the pasta in a casserole dish and top with ½ of the red sauce, followed by ½ of the bechamel sauce. Then sprinkle ½ of the Pecorino cheese on top of the cream sauce. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Place in oven and bake until bubbly and brown, 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.