Jun 28, 2009

Kayotic Pasta Gratin

When I want to make the men in my life happy, I cook this. Okay, so it kinda makes me happy, too. What is it? Think of it as a combination between baked pasta and a gratin, sans the cream. Plus, it’s the ideal way for me to get the kiddo to eat broccoli; something he won’t touch with a 10 foot pole otherwise.

Just a simple but incredibly tasty dish that you can make ahead of time and pop in the oven when you come home. Not really low-fat but also not super fattening. Definitely my kinda soul food.


1 pound sausage (Jimmy Dean hot)
1 pound broccoli
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp chicken broth
1/2 pound shell pasta
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
grated Parmesan


3oz butter
5 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
4 oz cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt


In the Netherlands we don’t have something like Jimmy Dean sausage, so I just took regular sausages out of their casings and spiked them with cayenne. Or you could use ground beef in stead.

Mince the onion and grate or mince the garlic cloves.

Cut the broccoli in small florets. You could also make this dish with cauliflower btw.

Heat a drop of oil and cook the onions, over medium heat, for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.


This is just my personal favorite combination, use whatever herb combination stole your heart. Fresh or dried. Sage works really well in this dish, or go for basil.

Add 2 tsp oregano and 1 tsp dried parsley to the onions. Cook for an additional minute to get the flavors going.

Add the sausage and break it up with a spatula. Cook over low to medium heat, until it starts to lose its rawness.

In the mean time we’ll cook the pasta. I opted for Pipe Rigate, but you can use any type of shell pasta for this. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the package.

If there’s a lot of fat coming out of the sausage, drain it. Yes, all of it (glares). Add the broccoli and cook for a few minutes while stirring. Spoon in 4 tbsp chicken (or vegetable broth), pop the lid on and simmer the meat and broccoli over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Time to whip up the sauce. Heat 3 oz butter and add 5 slightly heaping tbsp flour. Cook for a minute to neutralize the rawness of the flour.

Pour in 2 cups of milk and keep a third cup nearby. Bring the sauce to a boil while gently stirring. Bit by bit, add the third cup of milk until you reach a consistency you like. I usually go for a full 3 cups.

Spike the sauce with 2 tsp Dijon mustard and add salt to taste—I’ve added 1 tsp salt, just keep in mind we’ll also be adding cheese! Let the sauce simmer, over very low heat, for a few minutes.

The pasta and meat should be done by now. Drain the pasta and remove the meat from the stove.

Finish the sauce with pepper, a good pinch of cayenne and the grated cheese. You can use Parmesan, Gouda, Gruyere or even cheddar for this. Any type of cheese you like. Or be adventurous and mix two types of cheese.

 Now either add the pasta to the meat & broccoli in the pan, or transfer things to an oven dish and mix it there. Your call.

Pour the sauce all over. This looks so yummy, doesn’t it? And not a drop of cream in it, though you’d never tell.

Sprinkle some breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan on top of the sauce.


Put the pasta in a preheated oven and bake at 400F (200C) for 15 to 20 minutes. Until bubbly hot and golden brown on top.

This is every bit as comforting and delicious as it looks.  Can you really blame my guys for loving it as much as they do?

Kay’s Recipe Card

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    1. 1

      I planned on having pioneer woman’s green pasta casserole today, but after seeing this there’s been a slight change of plans LOL. Thanks for posting.

      Jodi on Jun 28, 2009 @ 12:35 pm Reply
    2. 2

      This one looks so good.

      Kelly on Jun 28, 2009 @ 12:42 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Looks wonderful :) I think I might make this tonight – I have all the ingredients at home. It would probably be great with mushrooms / bell peppers as well… Hmmmm.. *ponders dinner*

      Yaara in Tel Aviv on Jun 28, 2009 @ 4:41 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Oh yum!! this looks so delicious right now. It doesn’t hurt that its lunchtime where i live either!

      KT on Jun 28, 2009 @ 4:58 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Yum…this looks delicious! I love to make vegetable gratins in the summer, but this recipe is clearly a complete meal.

      Michele Morris on Jun 28, 2009 @ 6:28 pm Reply
    6. 6

      This looks like the perfect comfort food dish – yum!

      Kerstin on Jun 28, 2009 @ 6:40 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Another hit recipe! I’m SO glad you visited on Pioneer Woman, or I would never have found you! Now, I am hooked!

      I love your photo displays for teaching us the steps, AND I adore your recipe card print outs! What program do you use to make them?!

      Trith in MO on Jun 28, 2009 @ 10:11 pm Reply
    8. 8

      I typo-ed my own name … oops… that’s what comes from rushing! I’m TriSh … Trish in MO!


      Trish in MO on Jun 28, 2009 @ 10:12 pm Reply
    9. 9

      @Trish in MO:

      This one is definitely great :)

      They’re simply photoshop files!

      Kay on Jun 28, 2009 @ 10:14 pm Reply
    10. 10

      yum yum…i’ll try this when the weather cools down a bit.
      It’s too hot here to cook anything in the oven

      xiuxiu on Jun 29, 2009 @ 10:11 am Reply
    11. 11

      It’s early morning and I just had brekkie, but this is making me hungry.

      Joy on Jun 29, 2009 @ 10:23 am Reply
    12. 12

      This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it. I wonder if you have tried it with asparagus or any other veggies besides broccoli?

      Liz Brooks on Jun 29, 2009 @ 3:08 pm Reply
    13. 13

      @Liz Brooks:

      I’ve made it with cauliflower and peas before, but not with asparagus, no. No clue if it’s a good combination or not.

      Kay on Jun 29, 2009 @ 3:09 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Made this yesterday for dinner. Was a big hit with my husband. Was great as leftovers for lunch today.

      Jennifer on Jun 30, 2009 @ 7:50 pm Reply
    15. 15


      That’s what I forgot to mention. That the leftovers are great the next day.

      Kay on Jun 30, 2009 @ 8:00 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Just made a modified version of this– went totally vegetarian: broccoli, peppers, onions, carrots, corn, mushrooms, all finely diced. Used your sauce though, with smoked gouda and a bit of jarlsberg and cheddar…. it was delicious and there’s SO much leftover!!

      Becca on Jul 4, 2009 @ 6:35 am Reply
    17. 17

      Comfort food at its best! I love casseroles like this, but I always make too much and can’t control myself with the leftovers :)

      Tim on Jul 21, 2009 @ 12:23 pm Reply
    18. 18


      Join the club, Tim!

      The worse part is the leftover are just as great, if not better :)

      Kay on Jul 21, 2009 @ 9:28 pm Reply
    19. 19

      DAMN does that look great.. Love casseroles and cannot wait til the weather cools to make this one!

      Cathy on Jul 21, 2009 @ 9:42 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Yum, I want this in my mouth.

      My husband would probably not be interested on account of the broccoli, but I bet if I made it for myself when he wasn’t home, he’d try the leftovers…

      camille on Jul 23, 2009 @ 8:00 pm Reply
    21. 21

      What a tasty sounding pasta! I like using sausage in pastas as they add a lot of flavour.

      Kevin on Jul 31, 2009 @ 3:40 am Reply
    22. 22

      Kay your recipes look absolutely wonderful, found your site while looking for a roti dish…

      Since I am a bit of a beginner cook, okay I’m 40ish and just cooked the same ole fare all the time or went to moms “frequently” for dinner : ) anywhooo… Can I use frozen broccoli or is it a must to use fresh. I have 2 gigantic bags of frozen in the freezer and need to use them up.

      Bridgette on Aug 6, 2009 @ 1:57 pm Reply
    23. 23


      Thanks! Not at all! I wouldn’t fret about it and just use the frozen broccoli!

      Kay on Aug 6, 2009 @ 2:07 pm Reply
    24. 24

      Making this tonight

      Donna on Aug 26, 2009 @ 4:51 pm Reply
    25. 25

      nice post very interesting… looks great.

      automatic pasta machine on Jan 25, 2010 @ 9:43 am Reply

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