20 April 2022
Gratin de brocolis aux tomates
You can make this with fresh tomatoes (it's not the season) or with tomato sauce. To make sauce, we're buying tomato puree in jars these days because our 2021 vegetable was a disaster (lousy weather) and the tomato crop was pitiful. Never mind. Cook up about 8 oz. of pasta — these are called serpentini — until it's just al dente. Toss it in tomato sauce. Blanch (partially cook) a head of broccoli and cut it into florets.
Pour the pasta and sauce into a baking dish. Press the stem end of each broccoli floret into the pasta so that they are sort of standing up. Sprinkle grated Gruyère or Comté, or another cheese to your liking, over the broccoli. Bake the gratin in a hot oven for 15 or even 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown, and the tomato sauce is bubbling. Serve hot with French bread and red wine.
P.S. We put some cooked lardons into our pasta and sauce. Diced cooked chicken would be good. A dish like this would be delicious with cheese sauce instead of tomato sauce. It's a nice presentation. And in summertime or autumn it would be fantastic with fresh tomatoes, like this.