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New England Pasta Bake

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Posted on 2009-03-28

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New England Pasta Bake 6138 views
0.60 avg rating
5 votes


The indulgence of New England clam chowder combined with the comfort of a casserole


4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
Salt and ground black pepper
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, minced
3 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams and their juice
1 pound of pasta shells
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat broiler. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender. Add potatoes, thyme, and juice from clams plus cup of water. Bring liquids to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, for about 8-10 minutes.

3. While vegetables simmer, cook pasta to al dente. Before draining pasta, reserve two cups of starchy cooking water. Drain pasta and return it to the pan.

4. As the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk flour into butter for one minute. Once stiffened, whisk in the milk and 1 cup of starchy cooking water. Bring roux to a bubble. Add clams and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Set aside and keep warm.

5. Toss vegetables with sauce and pasta and transfer to a large casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Cook for 10-15 minutes, then brown briefly under the broiler. Serves six.

Author Comments

The indulgence of New England clam chowder combined with the comfort of a casserole.



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