This Penne Au Gratin with Smoked Turkey and Bacon recipe is a must-try for pasta lovers who enjoy the rich flavours of a creamy cheese sauce and the smokiness of turkey and bacon.
It’s a dish that brings comfort and warmth to the table, perfect for any occasion.
Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a small gathering, this recipe is sure to impress.
Give it a try and indulge in the delightful flavours of this cheesy, gratin goodness!
How to make the Penne au Gratin
Preparation is quick and easy, taking only 20 minutes, while the baking time is around 30 minutes.
This recipe serves four people, making it ideal for a cozy family meal but the recipe can easily be adjusted for more people to attend a small or bigger gathering,
To start, cook the penne pasta until al dente in salted boiling water.
While the pasta is cooking, weigh all the ingredients needed for your “mise en place”, which means to gather all your ingredients and tools need, in order to start cooking.
When the pasta is cooked, drain under tap water.
Wipe the same pan with paper kitchen towel in order to saute the finely chopped bacon. Stir for a minute and remove to a platter.
In the same saucepan prepare the creamy cheese sauce. The sauce is similar to the Bechamel we make in Greece but with more cheese.
Heat olive oil and whisk in the flour to create a roux.
Add the sea salt, and a pinch of nutmeg, stirring continuously.
Then add the light cream or milk and continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
Then, incorporate the Graviera cheese and the feta, allowing them to melt into the sauce, creating a smooth and velvety texture. When the sauce is ready, mix in the creamy fresh cheese.
Putting the dish together
Put the pasta in a casserole dish as well as the bacon and smoked turkey, together with half of the cheese sauce, and mix well, ensuring every piece is well-coated.
The smoky flavour of the turkey and bacon complements the creamy sauce, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
The aroma that fills your kitchen will be irresistible, making your mouth water in anticipation of the flavours to come.
Now top with the remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle some grated Graviera and dried breadcrumbs on top for a crunchy, golden crust.
Bake the Penne Au Gratin in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top is beautifully browned and crispy.
Once it’s ready, allow the dish to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Serve this delightful Penne Au Gratin as a main course, accompanied by a refreshing green salad or roasted vegetables.
The combination of creamy pasta, smoky turkey, bacon, and cheesy goodness will leave your taste buds satisfied and your guests asking for seconds.
Tips and Variations
Here are some tips and variations for this penne au gratin with smoked turkey and bacon recipe:
- You can use any kind of pasta you like, such as farfalle, fusilli, or rigatoni.
- You can substitute Greek Graviera cheese with Kasseri, Halloumi, Gruyere, Emmental, Gouda or cheddar cheese.
- You can add any kind of vegetables you like to the cheese sauce, such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, or spinach.
- You can also use leftover cooked chicken, lountza (Cypriot smoked pork fillet) or ham instead of smoked turkey.
- 300 grams penne pasta
- 1 tbsp salt
- 25 grams extra virgin olive oil
- 25 grams all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 400 ml light cream or milk
- 60 grams Graviera cheese
- 60 grams feta cheese
- 1 heaped tbsp fresh creamy cheese
- 5 slices smoked turkey, cut into cubes
- 3 slices (or more if you prefer), finely chopped bacon
- To garnish:
- 20 grams (1 tbsp) grated Graviera
- 5 grams (1 tbsp) dried breadcrumbs
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the salt and penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions but a couple of minutes less, so that they stay al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a separate saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes to create a roux.
- Slowly whisk in the light cream, sea salt, and nutmeg. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the Graviera cheese and grated mozzarella cheese. Stir until the cheeses melt and the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
- Add the cooked penne pasta and smoked turkey to the cheese sauce. Gently toss until the pasta and turkey are evenly coated.
- Transfer the penne mixture to the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the grated Graviera and dried breadcrumbs evenly over the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- Once the penne au gratin is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with finely chopped parsley.
- Serve the Penne Au Gratin with Smoked Turkey hot as a main dish. It pairs well with a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 621Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 87mgSodium 2561mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 19g
"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!