What is a great sauce for candele pasta?

I have 18-inch long candele (candle pasta) and want to respect it and do proper justice to this really great NY grocery dried pasta.

This PA Dutch cook is a bit out of her element here - can you help?


Answer: Well it turns out I was given some of this wonderfully lush pasta earlier this year and although we made a deliciously creamy zucchini bechamel sauce to go with it (lip-smackingly good), I never got to making a recipe page for this site due to losing my image of the final dish. Frustrating!

However I did find my rough notes on how to make it, so here goes...

Candele al forno recipe (AKA zucchini pasta with b├ęchamel sauce))

Serves 4

1 liter semi-skimmer/half and half milk
100g/3.5oz butter (cut into small 1cm-square cubes)
60g/2oz (4 tablespoons) plain/all purpose flour
500g/17oz candele pasta
2 good sized zucchini
200g/7oz ball of mozzarella
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
Nutmeg (to grate)

1. Boil zucchini in a pan of salted water until soft, then whiz in food processor until finely chopped.

2. Use all the milk to whip up some bechamel sauce (see this bechamel sauce recipe page).

3. Mix the blended zucchini into the finished sauce.

4. Boil up your pasta in a separate pan, but only until 'al dente' (roughly a minute less than the packet's timings).

5. Stain an oven dish with the sauce, then add your pasta along with a sprinkling of chopped mozzarella chunks and some bechamel sauce.

- Then add another layer of pasta, mozza, sauce and a couple of tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.

6. Finally, bake at 200C/400F until nicely browned on top (roughly 20 minutes).

Proprio buono!

Possible variations on this recipe:

- Add pancetta (belly bacon chunks), fried until soft before adding when laying.

Replace zucchini with pumpkin, artichoke, asparagus, or any other veg that will easily boil and puree.

I hope that's useful, if a little late. A good recipe to try either way... :-)


Idiot Update I did have a picture, in fact I did create a recipe page for this very dish, only branded a rigatoni version (better Google demand is the reason, so more people might find the page). The full beautiful version is over on this page: Baked Rigatoni Recipe.

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