The casserole is an American classic that reached its zenith of influence in the 1950s and 60s. Post-WWII affluence helped fuel the Tupperware and lightweight glassware markets, and housewives looking for easy ways to prepare one-pot comfort foods made casserole dishes a leading star in mid-century cuisine. They were creamy and hearty vats of starches, vegetables, dairy and meats all prepared, cooked and served in one handy dish. And because casseroles could be made with pretty much any combination of ingredients, mid-century moms never had to worry about hearing “not the same old casserole again” from the kids and husband.
Casseroles were so versatile, moms could put casseroles on the menu every night without repeating for at least two weeks. It was the age of convenience, the era of innovation and the heyday of the nuclear American family, hence why the casserole was the quintessential byproduct of the times.
- 2 cups shredded cheese (we used a three-cheese blend of Asiago, Parmesan and Romano)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound box of pasta
- 2 avocados, mashed
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 Cook pasta according to label instructions.
- 1 Put heavy cream in saucepan over low heat.
- 2 Slowly add in the cheese and stir until melted and creamy, set aside.
- 1 Mash the avocados, using a food processor.
- 2 Add in chopped cilantro, garlic, and pepper.
- 3 Pulse until well integrated.
Making the Casserole
- 1 Put cooked pasta into a bowl and pour in the cheese sauce.
- 2 Add in the Avocado Paste and stir well to incorporate.
- 3 Garnish with chopped cilantro and kosher salt to taste.