What: An easy layered pasta casserole that’s packed with veggies, and you won’t have to turn on the oven.
When: When you have odd amounts of vegetables or leafy greens to use
Why: Because you should never miss an opportunity to get your little ones used to greens. I like this dish because it incorporates vegetables without trying to hide them – it’s the same idea as our Mac ‘n Greens from a few weeks ago.
How: Slightly overcooking the pasta and assembling it while hot helps bind this casserole together. I recommend using small glass Pyrex covered dishes to store or freeze in several portion increments.
No-Bake Veggie Pasta Casserole
3-4 Kid-sized portions
1 Cup Dry Orzo or other small pasta
2 Cups Lightly Packed Baby Spinach
1 Cup Broccoli Florets (frozen and defrosted or fresh)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Salted Butter, cut into dots
1/3 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano
In a food processor, blend Spinach Leaves and Broccoli with the Olive Oil until finely minced. The results should be a spreadable paste, loosen with a little water if needed. Set aside.
Prepare the Orzo in Salted boiling water, according to the package instructions. Cook an extra two minutes over recommended time. Drain.
To prepare, press a half inch of Orzo into the bottom of a glass container. Top with a thin layer of the Vegetable Mix. Sprinkle with Pecorino. Repeat, adding another layer of Orzo, Vegetables, and the Pecorino Romano. Dot the top of the casserole with the bits of Butter, pressing into the surface so that Butter Melts.
Allow casserole to set in the fridge at least a 15 minutes before scooping out portions with a spatula or spoon. Warm in the microwave or heat the glass serving dish before portioning.