Gorgonzola-Kohlrabi-Pasta Bake

I’m stuck at home with the first big cold of the season. Runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever…the whole package. Even my face hurts. And the worst thing of all is that my taste buds are completely out of order. I just had a “tarte flambée”, a very thin crust topped with sour cream, onions and bacon, a specialty from the region of Alsace in France, for dinner and I could just as well have eaten my shoes. It would have tasted the same. Fortunately, my husband assured me that it tasted great and that I’d have to make it again so I’ll have another go in a few days.

Thankfully, my taste buds were still functional a few days ago, when I made this pasta bake. I found the inspiration in the current issue of the french Saveurs Magazine where they presented a simple macaroni Gorgonzola pasta bake. It looked very tasty, but to have it as a complete meal, it lacked some vegetables. Kohlrabi sounded like a nice addition and I was pretty sure that its crunchiness and taste would complement the creaminess and strong flavors of the Gorgonzola very well.
Topped off with some panko, this was a delicious pasta bake, perfect for cold autumn evenings.

Ingredients for 2:

160g dry pasta (maccheroni or similiar)
1 big Kohlrabi or two small ones
60g Grogonzola *
enough milk to cover the pasta shapes (I didn’t measure the amount, but I guess it was about 400 ml)
salt, pepper and nutmeg to season
Panko flakes or bread crumps for the topping
30g butter

* It can be a bit more or a bit less, depending on whether you want your sauce to have a strong blue cheese or not. It’s best to add it in little bits and check the taste as you go.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Peel the Kohlrabi and discard the stem (hard and stringy bit at the bottom). Cut it into little cubes.

Put the pasta into a pot and cover with the milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the milk is boiling, reduce the heat to medium high in order to keep it bubbling. Watch the mixture at all times as boiling milk goes over board very quickly if you don’t stir it frequently.

When you’re halfway through cooking your pasta, add the Kohlrabi cubes to the milk and continue the cooking process until the pasta is al dente. I like the Kohlrabi to preserve some of its crunch, so a few minutes in the boiling milk are enough. If you want it to be completely cooked through, just add it to the pot a little sooner.

As soon as everything’s cooked to your liking, remove the pot from the eat and add the gorgonzola in spoonfuls. Stir the blue cheese into the mixture until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Pour into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with panko or bread crumbs and arrange several knobs of butter on top. This will make sure the crumbs become crisp and golden during the baking process.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top is golden. Take out, let sit for 5 minutes to let it cool down a bit and enjoy!

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