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Creamy Broccoli & Fennel Casserole Fill 1 Created with Sketch.

with Mafalda Pasta & Fontina Cheese

  • Group Created with Sketch.
    Time
    35-45 mins
  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    3
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 700 calories
    Nutrition Label
    Nutrition Label
    Nutrition Label

Mafalda pasta, with its curly, ribbon-like edges, is ideal for holding onto sauces. It’s among a small group of pastas that were dedicated to the House of Savoy when the family became the ruling monarchs of Italy at the turn of the 20th Century. Also called reginette, or “little queens,” mafalda is named for Princess Mafalda—and its crinkled edges make it the perfect choice for clinging onto the rich Fontina cheese and béchamel sauce we’re using in this casserole. Cooked with one of our favorite fall aromatics, fennel, this dish is a warming, gourmet spin on Italian comfort food.

fresh
ingredients
Creamy Broccoli & Fennel Casserole with Mafalda Pasta & Fontina Cheese
Title
  • 8 oz Mafalda Pasta
  • 4 oz Fontina Cheese
  • ¾ cup Low-Fat Milk
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 bulb Fennel
  • 1 Lemon
  • ½ lb Broccoli
  • 3 Tbsps All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Grated Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Creamy Casserole Spice Blend (Ground Yellow Mustard, Ground Fennel Seeds & Ground Bay Leaves)
tried-and-true
kitchen tools
time-saving
tips & techniques
step-by-step
instructions
Cook the pasta
1 Cook the pasta

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta. Cook 13 to 15 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly. Rinse and dry the pot.

Prepare the ingredients
2 Prepare the ingredients

While the pasta cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the fennel stems; small dice the bulb. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Cut off and discard the rind of the Fontina cheese; small dice.

Cook the aromatics
3 Cook the aromatics

In the pot used to cook the pasta, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Make the béchamel sauce & add the broccoli
4 Make the béchamel sauce & add the broccoli

Add the flour, spice blend and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot of aromatics. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the flour is golden and the spices are fragrant. Add the milk and reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened. Add the broccoli, Fontina cheese and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

Finish the filling & assemble the casserole
5 Finish the filling & assemble the casserole

Off the heat, stir the cooked pasta into the pot of vegetables and béchamel sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished filling to a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and pecorino cheese. Stir in the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and enough olive oil to moisten the mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste. Evenly top the casserole with the breadcrumb-pecorino cheese mixture.

Bake the casserole & serve your dish:
6 Bake the casserole & serve your dish:

Place the assembled casserole in the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy on top. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Blue Apron delivers original, step-by-step recipes and fresh ingredients to customers nationwide. Our menus change every week, so with each delivery you learn to cook inventive new dishes with seasonal ingredients. By letting us source these hard-to-find ingredients for you, you'll get food that is fresher and cheaper than you can get at your local supermarket, and there's no waste because we only send you what you need for each recipe.

We named our company “Blue Apron” because chefs around the world wear blue aprons when they're learning to cook, and it has become a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking. We believe you're never done learning in the kitchen, so we design our menus to ensure you're always learning new cooking techniques, trying new cuisines, and using unique ingredients.

Blue Apron is a weekly subscription service with no commitment - you can skip a week or cancel at any time with a week's notice. We can't wait to cook with you!

Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Cook the pasta

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta. Cook 13 to 15 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly. Rinse and dry the pot.

2 Prepare the ingredients

While the pasta cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the fennel stems; small dice the bulb. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Cut off and discard the rind of the Fontina cheese; small dice.

Cook the aromatics
3 Cook the aromatics

In the pot used to cook the pasta, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

4 Make the béchamel sauce & add the broccoli

Add the flour, spice blend and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot of aromatics. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the flour is golden and the spices are fragrant. Add the milk and reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened. Add the broccoli, Fontina cheese and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

Make the béchamel sauce & add the broccoli
Finish the filling & assemble the casserole
5 Finish the filling & assemble the casserole

Off the heat, stir the cooked pasta into the pot of vegetables and béchamel sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished filling to a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and pecorino cheese. Stir in the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and enough olive oil to moisten the mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste. Evenly top the casserole with the breadcrumb-pecorino cheese mixture.

6 Bake the casserole & serve your dish:

Place the assembled casserole in the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy on top. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Bake the casserole & serve your dish: