Saturday, October 6, 2012

Penne au Gratin

                 Okay, okay,  I mean mac and cheese, but if I would have had the title "Mac and Cheese" would you be reading this post?  Like many people in the U.S., I had my fair share of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  It was probably one of the first things I learned to cook as a kid.

                 As an adult, you still look at macaroni and cheese as comfort food, but the limpy, soft noodle and orange colored powdered cheese doesn't seem to cut it anymore.  I even feel guilt throwing it in front of my kids.  As a parent and as an adult, you have a need to make a macaroni and cheese with more substance.  A need to make something more fresh and satisfying.  How about a baked macaroni and cheese that combines multiple cheeses and has a crunchy topping to offset the texture of the pasta?

                 If you've never made your own macaroni and cheese from scratch, it isn't hard, it doesn't take long, and it is so much better than the box.  You will never want to go back to orange powdered cheese after this.

  1. 1 box penne rigate pasta
  2. 2 Tbl butter
  3. 2 Tbl flour
  4. 2 Cups skim milk
  5. 1 tsp garlic
  6. 1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar
  7. 1/2 Cup Colby Jack
  8. 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
  9. 1/8 tsp pepper
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. pinch of nutmeg
  12. 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  13. 1/2 Cup panko or homemade breadcrumbs
  14. 2 Tbl olive oil
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta.  You do not want to fully cook the pasta.  You want to cook it before it reaches al dente.  Cook the pasta 2 minutes before the directions say al dente will be reached.  When the pasta is done, pour it in a casserole dish that was sprayed with cooking spray.

In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Than add the flour and garlic and stir for 3 minutes on medium heat.  Slowly add the milk.  Let the flour absorb the milk a little at a time.  This way you won't get lumps.

When all the milk is added, add your cheese and stir until it's all melted.  Then add the spices.

 Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir it in.

For the topping combine the olive oil and breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pasta.

Place the dish in a preheated 400F oven.  Cook it for 15 minutes.

When it is done, enjoy a "not" out of the box comfort food.

No comments:

Post a Comment