Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blue Cheese Baked Pasta

I found this recipe on GroupRecipes. Keith and I have been on a HUGE blue cheese kick lately, so this was the perfect meal to make.


* 1 lb uncooked spiral tube-shaped pasta
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
* 1/4 cup flour
* 2 cups whole milk (I used 2% milk)
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 3 cups grated cheddar cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
* 1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese, divided (I only had a little less than a cup)
* Salt & freshly ground black pepper or tricolor pepper, to taste
* 1 dash cayenne, to taste (optional)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh chives


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 13x9 glass baking dish.
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally; drain and set aside.
3. While the pasta is cooking, in a large heavy saucepan over medium low heat, melt the olive oil and butter together; add the flour and, stirring constantly, cook for 1 minute (don't let it brown), then gradually whisk in the milk and cream.
4. Simmer mixture until it slightly thickens, whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes.
5. Reduce the temperature to low, then gradually stir in the grated cheddar and 1 cup of the blue cheese and cook, stirring, until the cheese melts.
6. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground pepper, and cayenne (if using).
7. Stir in the cooked pasta, making sure it's well-coated with the sauce.
8. Pour mixture into the buttered baking dish, sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Like I said before, we ran out of blue cheese, so we didn't add any on top.)
9. Sprinkle with the minced chives and serve.

Obviously this makes a lot of food, so we'll be having this as leftovers for a few days! I would also probably make this as a side dish rather than a main meal next time. It's so cheesy and we got a little sick of it toward the end. It was very delicious though!

I also made a side salad to go with it:

* Hearts of romaine lettuce
* Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
* Sante fe style tortilla chips
* Chunky blue cheese dressing
(Yes, that's a LOT of dressing. I heart dressing though!)

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