What You'll Need:
4 cups uncooked pasta; medium shells/conchiglie rigate – shells with ridges; macaroni, or whatever you desire
1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 1/3 lb.)
1 cup grated Emmentaler Swiss cheese (about 1/4 lb.) or cheese of choice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white flour
1 3/4 cup reduced fat milk (not skim milk)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 salt, or more to taste
3/4 cup bread crumbs (1 piece of plain whole wheat or white sandwich bread)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (the good stuff)
What You'll Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Fill a large saucepan half full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; add the pasta and a dash of salt. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Turn down the heat slightly if the water starts to boil over. Put a colander in the sink. Have an adult help you pour the pot into the colander. Shake the colander to loosen any excess water.
2. Rub a little oil on the bottom and sides of a 2 1/2-3 quart casserole with a paper towel. Pour in the pasta and set aside. Grate the cheeses, put into a bowl, and set near the stove. Crumble the bread by rubbing it between your palms over another bowl until you have 3/4 cup of small breadcrumbs. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
3. Pour the milk into a glass measuring cup. Heat the butter in the pasta pan over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble but not brown. Whisk in the flour and stir for a minute until the flour smells toasty. This is called making a “roux”. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking until the lumps are blended.
4. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring or whisking frequently so the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When the sauce has thickened, add the bowl of cheese, and stir until all of the cheese has melted. (It won’t be a thick sauce.) Add the nutmeg, pepper, and salt to taste.
5. Pour the sauce over the top of the pasta and stir until mixed. Sprinkle the bread crumb/cheese mixture on top. Bake uncovered for 20-25 until the bread crumbs are browned and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Cool for five minutes or so before serving.
2 1/2-3 quart casserole
Measuring cups, spoons
Glass measuring cup
POSTED ON 11/28/2009 7:01:00 AM