Penne and Cheese is a delicious pasta and cheese recipe made with a creamy homemade bechamel sauce. The sauce is even creamier from a tempered egg. With a crispy panko topping, the is not your typical mac 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.
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…
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.
some other pasta recipes to enjoy:
Penne and Cheese
- ½ pound penne pasta
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoon mustard
- 3 cups milk
- ¼ cup sweet onion finely diced
- ½ 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
- 3 Tablespoons butter I used 1 Tablespoon and 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to just before al dente.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.