Monday, August 24, 2009

Cheesy Penne Pasta

I got a variation of this recipe from Claire Robinson's show, "5 ingredients or less". For the most part the recipe is very close to her version, with just a little twist of my own. This dish is a combination of cheesy, rich and creamy all rolled into one. The Vermont cheddar makes this dish. It's sharp and pungent, yet it melts to perfect creaminess! This recipe is one I'll definitely make again, and again. I hope you enjoy the simplicity and richness of this dish =)
For another variation of this dish, try it with chicken!

Cheesy Penne Pasta


3 cups penne pasta cooked to al dente
1 1/2 cups milk (divided)
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. flour
8 ounces grated or finely shredded aged Vermont white cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

While pasta is cooking, in a small saucepan melt butter completely and then add flour and whisk to make a rue. Once the flour mixture is thick, smooth and golden, slowly begin adding milk the rue while constantly whisking out any lumps at the same time. To ensure you get out all the lumps, add just bit's of milk at a time. Continue adding milk until you've added a full cup. Continue to heat and whisk until the mixture become a nice light cream sauce. (If you want to skip this step, in the original recipe, she just uses heavy cream. I didn't have any, so I opted to make the rue and do it that way instead. It's totally your preference. The heavy cream would definitely be a time saver.) Once the sauce is at the appropriate consistency remove it from the heat and set aside.

With remaining 1/2 cup of milk, whisk it and dijon mustard together and set aside as well.

Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and then add it back into the large saucepan. To it add cream sauce, dijon mixture, salt, pepper and shredded cheddar cheese. Place on medium low heat and continually stir until all the cheese is melted and the pasta is thick and creamy. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and enjoy.

Indulge yourself in this delicious, cheesy dish!

Serves 2-3 as an entree

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