For this recipe, I wish I had access to the huge garden we had on the farm when I was little. I remember spending hours weaving through the rows of snow peas, green beans, raspberries, carrots and lettuce looking for the perfect snack for a mid-summer day. Black gold, my father would call the dark earth used to sprout our variety of garden foods that would sustain the family for many months into the coming winter. Mom rounded up me and my brother to weed every so often, it helps the good plants grow, she said.
Now all I have is a box full of dirt. No black gold. No careful hands to weed. It’s me and my limpy plants.
To my surprise, the limpy plants produced a few green beans! (Now I know what to plant again next spring)
While this handful is not enough to feed my army, they were a welcome addition to my collection of veggies for this pasta dish.
Bacon, one of my favorite ingredients, was tossed in with the alfredo sauce. I used a store-bought alfredo with roasted garlic, you can make your own, I didn’t have all the ingredients (most importantly time) to make the sauce from scratch. I’ll call this a semi-homemade casserole.
- 1 (15oz) jar of alfredo sauce
- 4 cups cooked shells
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/2 cup green beans, stems and halved
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 thick rashers of bacon
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Crisp up the bacon, drain , then crumble. Stir the bacon into the alfredo sauce.
Toss the shells, veggies, and sauce. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.
Mix the topping to a consistency of wet sand. Sprinkle over the pasta and veggies. Drizzle olive oil over the crumb topping, this will help with browning.
Bake at 400ºF for 25-35 minutes until the topping is golden and the sauce is bubbling.