Thursday, August 29, 2013

Serving Up {Pasta}: Creamy Baked Fettuccine with Asiago and Thyme

My kids are huge pasta lovers.  Aren't all kids?  And while I love a good pasta dish, there are times when my kids' request for "noodles" is met with me thinking, "not again!".  So I love to find a good pasta dish that appeases my kids request for "noodles" while offering an adult flavor for my own selfish interest.

This recipe is one of those recipes that meets the needs of both kids and adults.  The use of asiago cheese and thyme totally rock this dish and take it beyond your kids cheesy noodles.  I have also taken to adding cooked, crumbed sausage to it to make a complete meal in one dish.  I generally will cook and crumble my sausage when I buy it and then I keep it in the freezer frozen until I need it.  By having cooked sausage on hand, I can pull this meal together in the time that it takes to boil the noodles and yet it tastes like a lot more effort went into it - a little secret that we will just keep to ourselves :)

One Year Ago: Blueberry Buckle
Two Years Ago: Morning Egg Casserole

(recipe adapted from Giana De Laurentiis, Food Network)
printable version

1 pound fettuccine pasta
2 cups grated asiago cheese, plus ¼ cup
2 (8-ounce) containers crème fraiche
1 cup grated parmesan
1 ½ Tbs. fresh chopped thyme leaves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. Italian Sausage, cooked & crumbled (optional - my addition to the recipe)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups of asiago cheese, crème fraiche, parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper. Add pasta and reserved pasta cooking liquid as needed. Gently toss until all the ingredients are combined and the pasta is coated. Add crumbled Italian sausage and place the pasta in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and serve.

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