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Pasta Soufflé with Spring Vegetables

Serves 8

1 lb. penne pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. artichoke hearts
2 cups asparagus, cut and blanched
2 cup peas, blanched
1 shallot, minced very fine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1 tsp. dry mustard

4 egg yolks

6 egg whites

1/4 cup pecorino cheese
1 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes soaked in oil
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. fresh chives, chopped

Butter, at room temperature for greasing the soufflé pan and tossing with breadcrumbs.

Prepare a large pot of water. Bring it to a boil add salt then pasta. Cook the pasta until pasta is "al dente" about 7-8 minutes.

Use room temperature butter to grease an 8 inch soufflé mold. Add the grated Parmesan and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Melt butter in a 3 quart sauce pan, add shallots and garlic and sauté until shallots are translucent. Add flour and stir to create a roux, stir in the milk. Cook at high heat until it coats the back of a spoon. Sprinkle nutmeg, dry mustard, cheeses, salt and pepper into the cream sauce. Cook at high heat until sauce is reduced and thickened.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the cheese mixture, constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add in the artichokes, peas and asparagus. Stir until incorporated.

Pasta Souffle Cont…

In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar or salt until glossy and firm. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.

Toss pasta with sauce. Top with sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with fresh chives and more Parmigiano cheese.

Pour the mixture into the soufflé pan. Fill the soufflé to 1/2-inch from the top. Place on top of an aluminum pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes and serve immediately.

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