Summer Pasta Bake

Living in Mumbai, during my childhood and college days, I was used to drinking a glass of whole milk before going to bed. It was a habit that I loved and looked forward to! I came to the US, and when I started drinking the whole milk here, I found it quite heavy for my stomach and digestion. So I switched to reduced fat milk. I would drink the 2%, and sometimes even the 1% .

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When  a2 Milk®  Company contacted me to try their milk, I was very intrigued. What is the difference between their milk and the milk found at grocery stores? Ordinary cows’ milk naturally contains a mix of both A1 and A2 proteins. a2 Milk® comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein and no A1. Published research suggests that a2 Milk® may help some people avoid discomfort. They are on a mission to bring people, with delicious, nutritious and pure a2 Milk®. They take great care to bring you milk naturally free from the A1 protein from cow to cup. The cows are not treated with growth hormones, rBST or antibiotics. All of the family farms are independently certified by the Validus Group to ensure they meet strict animal welfare guidelines.

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My husband is lactose intolerant and funny symptoms happen to him when he has regular milk. After having the a2 Milk®, his tummy feels much better and does not have the same symptoms as well! They have a ton of fun recipes on their website as well, using their various products. They carry 1%, 2%, whole milk and chocolate milk.

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I made this summer pasta recipe using the a2 Milk! The white sauce is made with a butter, flour, a2 milk, salt, pepper, dried basil, thyme, onions, garlic, goat cheese cheddar, and goat cheese to give it a tangy taste. There is no heavy cream in this white sauce. You can add any pasta, but I do like rigatoni as it carries the sauce in the tubes. I love adding corn to this pasta because I love the tangy creamy sauce with the sweet corn. It complements the pasta really well!  I layer the white sauce/pasta with gorgeous tomatoes and zucchini, and then layer with a bread/goat cheese topping. Drizzle olive oil on top of the pasta, and then bake the pasta! It is garnished with fresh basil and thyme, and best served with some olive oil brushed crusty grilled bread, along with some fantastic rose’ to complement the flavors!

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This pasta is a great summer pasta, with all the fresh produce that is available at the farmer’s markets! You can make it an all zucchini and yellow squash pasta, but I do love the beautiful heirloom tomatoes in it. It would  be a great dinner option, in the long evening light, especially as a backyard dining option with some great company over!

If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment on this blog post!

Cheers and hope you all are having a great summer so far!




Summer Pasta Bake


    Makes for about 10 people
  • White Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups(200gms) finely diced white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750gms) a2 Milk® Whole
  • 1 cup (90gms) freshly grated goat cheese cheddar
  • ½ cup (60gms) goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ -2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ - 2 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Fresh corn of 1 ear
  • 10 oz of dried pasta(rigatoni/shell/orecchiette)
  • Summer Vegetable Topping:
  • 4 Heirloom tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 1 Zucchini, cut into slices
  • Topping:
  • 4 oz log of herbed and garlic goat cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish:
  • 1 tbsp of thyme leaves
  • ½ cup of fresh basil leaves


    White Sauce:
  1. In a large saucepan, on medium-high heat, add in the butter and olive oil. Let the butter melt. Add in the onions and sauté for about 7-8 minutes till slightly golden brown. Add in the grated garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, basil and sauté. Add in the flour and sauté for about 2 minutes to remove the raw taste of the flour. Now add in the milk. Add in the corn. Use a whisk at this point, to whisk in the mixture well. Let it thicken for about 5 minutes. Add in the lemon zest to brighten up the flavor. Add in the goat cheese and goat cheese cheddar, and whisk for 2 minutes till it reaches a smooth consistency. Switch off the heat.
  2. Cooked Pasta:
  3. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packaged directions. Do Not let it cook for the complete time on the package. If it says cook for 14 minutes, simply cook for 10 minutes. If it says cook for 12 minutes, simply cook for 8 minutes. The pasta will cook in the sauce, in the oven.
  4. Toppings and Garnish:
  5. Mix all the ingredients, except olive oil, together in a small bowl until it is a crumbly texture. Keep it aside.
  6. Assembly:
  7. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  8. Add the cooked pasta, in the white sauce pan. Gently mix it all together.
  9. Gently pour it in a 9x13 baking pan, or a 10 inch cast iron pan. Smoothen the top part. Layer the heirloom tomatoes, zucchini over the pasta. Drizzle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the topping evenly over the pasta. Drizzle olive oil on the top to drench the topping.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes on the bottom rack, and broil for about 3 minutes on high. Watch out every 30 seconds to make sure that the top is not burnt. Switch off the oven. Remove the baking pan or cast-iron pan gently. Let it cool slightly for 10 minutes. Garnish with the fresh basil and fresh thyme leaves.
  11. Serve with crusty bread and red pepper flakes!
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