Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole

Hello!
It’s been a while. I took a break, but now I’m back. Let’s see if I still remember how to do this.

I was interested in this recipe because it has a few different-than-usual ingredients: Havarti cheese and pine nuts show up. How many times do you see a pasta dish that has tomatoes and basil but doesn’t have garlic or onions? It was worth a try.

Here goes.

Get the pasta and get it cooked.

Rotini.

Rotini.

While the pasta is cooking, all the other prep can be done.

Cheese can be grated.

Grated Havarti.

Grated Havarti.

Pine nuts can be admired. So many pine nuts.

Pine nuts.

Pine nuts.

Those pine nuts can also be toasted.

Toasted pine nuts.

Toasted pine nuts.

Basil leaves can be picked.

Basil leaves can be picked.

The basil can be slivered.

Slivered basil.

Slivered basil.

The cans of tomatoes can be opened and poured into a saucepan and placed on medium heat. The slivered basil is added.

Add the basil to the tomatoes (another whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Add the basil to the tomatoes (another whatfoodimade action shot™!).

The pine nuts (and the salt and pepper) are added too.

Add the pine nuts (whatfoodimade action shot™ #3!).

Add the pine nuts (whatfoodimade action shot™ #3!).

Right about now, the pasta is cooked.
Drain it and after the tomato mixture has simmered for 2 or 3 minutes, add the pasta and stir to combine.

Add the cooked pasta (whatfoodimade action shot™ #4!).

Add the cooked pasta (whatfoodimade action shot™ #4!).

Add the grated Havarti to the tomatoes and pasta.

Add the Havarti (the final whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Add the Havarti (the final whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Load all the pasta and tomatoes and cheese and pine nuts and basil and salt and pepper into a casserole dish, grate some Parmesan over top and bake it.

Loaded into a casserole dish.

Loaded into a casserole dish.

After 35 - 40 minutes, the casserole is ready.

After 35 – 40 minutes, the casserole is ready.

Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole.

Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole.

Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole.

This was pretty good, not outstanding. No rush to cook it again like this… maybe there is a good reason there are usually onion or garlic in recipes like this?

From The Big Book of Casseroles: 250 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food by Maryana Vollstedt.

Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole
Serves 6

When served with a crisp green salad and warm bread, this filling pasta dish can be the centrepiece of the meal. Fresh basil adds a distinctive flavour.

8 ounces (about 2-1/2 cups) rotini, cooked and drained
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in thick purée
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil or 12 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup grated Havarti cheese
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling in top

Preheat oven to 375°. Place rotini in a 2-1/2 quart casserole dish lightly coated with cooking spray or oil.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, seasonings and parsley. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add to casserole and mix with pasta. Add Havarti cheese and mix again. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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One thought on “Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole

  1. Pingback: Rotini, Fresh Basil, Pine Nut and Cheese Casserole – A Girls Guide to Capetown

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