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Penne and Cheese


Penne and Cheese

I've been debating on posting this recipe. I've been wondering if all of you care as much as I do about pasta recipes. I was curious to know if you love a great mac and cheese recipe as do I. Do you dream of comfort food dishes when the temperatures drop? Do you dream of mac and cheese once in a while?

Sometimes I do. But very specifically, it has to be my mom's mac and cheese. I never make mac and cheese, because mom's is the best. But I came across this recipe from Alton Brown a while back in a Food Network issue and I thought, "Hey! This I have to try!". Maybe because it was their most popular recipe in 20 years. Maybe because Alton tempers an egg. I was very curious.


Penne and Cheese



I didn't have any elbow macaroni on hand. So I did stray and make this a little bit more Italian by using penne pasta. I also added a touch of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a little bit of provolone.

You essentially make a besciamella (or bechamel)sauce and then it has the tempered egg part. Not how mom typically makes hers...hence, why I was so super curious! Are you curious on how to temper an egg? Good question!

Here's a great link to get the scoop on egg tempering...very easy...


Penne and Cheese


When fall comes around, I am all about easy casserole dishes, slow-cooker soups, rich sauces.

What's your favorite spin on mac and cheese? This is now my favorite variation!!

Slightly adapted from Alton Brown's Baked Mac and Cheese.


Penne and Cheese
Ingredients
1/2 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon mustard
3 cups milk
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
2 ounces shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (or whatever other cheese you like)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
Topping-
3 tablespoons butter (I used 1 Tablespoon and 2 Tablespoons butter)
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to just before al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add in the olive oil and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

15 comments

  1. That looks lovely! I'm a stovetop mac and cheese girl myself, but I love the look of those crispy, crunchy breadcrumbs on top!

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  2. So much comfort in one dish. Loving that crispy topping!

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  3. Yes I love a good mac n cheese recipe more than probably anyone in the world! I like mine with bacon :) Love this.

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  4. That little bit of mustard added in here sounds so good. Thanks!

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  5. Please. Pasta is my jam. I'd eat it morning noon and night if I could! This is my idea of comfort food!

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  6. I'm go glad that my computer started to act right and that I could get to this recipe today! Cheese and pasta makes my heart go pitter patter haha. I love it! Oh and my mom has those same casserole dishes!!

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  7. I love the two cheeses you used here, so yummy!

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  8. Lora, I'm so glad you posted this recipe because hot damn, that crispy golden crust over top of the cheesy pasta is glorious! I LOVE mac 'n cheese so much. I only make it once a year but when I do, it's in a ginormous casserole dish which the Husband and I will eat it non stop for a week. With cut up hot dogs. Because we're classy that way ;) I can't wait to try this version. I've never even heard of tempering eggs so thanks for the link. I'm drooling all over myself thinking about how delicious this must be.

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  9. I am like you, fall means comfort food and casseroles like this one hit the spot.

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  10. There is nothing better than comforting mac and cheese. Delicious!

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  11. I do care about pasta recipes and this one looks wonderful, Lora. The creaminess of that sauce is killing me!!! YUM!

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  12. I only make mac and cheese once a year; mostly because my mac and cheese tends to be a 5-6 cheese situation, and it's all I will eat till it's gone. Love your penne version. That topping... Holy Honey Smacks!

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  13. What's better than Baked Mac & Cheese - This Baked Penne & Cheese!

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  14. Mmmm, love me a good mac 'n cheese but my favorite version includes a healthy handful of diced peppers (jalapeño or poblano), hot sauce and some chorizo or smoky bacon. Just because.

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