When you realize at 6PM that you have a box of manicotti past the expiration date, you have two choices. Run to the store to make a traditional favorite, or stay put, swing open the fridge, and think.
That purple bunch of asparagus would look pretty snug and cute wrapped around pasta, right?
Right, but cute just doesn’t always cut it. Smother it in a cheesy béchamel sauce and now we’re talkin’. When they come out of the oven bubbling, with the garlic cloves nice and soft underneath, you’ll want to make this every time you’re in need of serious comfort. I like to enjoy this with roasted cherry tomatoes, and bread to spread the garlic on.
- 6 manicotti (2/person)
- 6 manicotti
- 18 spears of asparagus (trimmed)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- about 8 garlic cloves (from 1 head of garlic, peeled)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup parmesan (grated)
- couple of pinches of nutmeg
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 40 min
- Ready in: 50 min
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In salted water, boil the manicotti til they are al dente.
- Spread each manicotti on a baking dish, add your cloves of garlic, olive oil, and toss til well coated. Add more olive oil if necessary.
- In each manicotti, place 3 spears of asparagus.
- For the béchamel, begin by heating your butter. Once melted, whisk in your flour til a golden paste forms, then slowly pour in your milk, whisking continuously. Once thickened, take it off the heat.
- Stir in your parmesan, and add your salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour the béchamel over the manicotti and garlic. Bake, covered, for about 30 minutes. Then bake it another 10 minutes, uncovered, til they begin to brown.