Search This Blog

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pasta Formaggio (Cheesy Pasta!)

 ~Tyler & Danielle enjoying their Pasta ~

This is a recipe based on a white sauce (Balsamella) and several cheeses, very similar to Fettuccine Alfredo. I make it a lot for lunch around here because it is so quick, tasty, and very filling. When my kids were little they wanted Mac & Cheese like their friends had but I couldn't bring myself to buying that "little blue box" so I came up with this recipe. Think of it as Italian Mac & Cheese!

2 cups milk (If you heat up the milk in the microwave for 1 minute it will thicken faster!
4 tablespoons butter                       
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne powder
2 cups Cheese: I like to use 2-4 different kinds of cheeses with 2 cups of cheese total. Here are some of my favorites: Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella, Provolone, Cheddar, Fontina, Swiss, Mascarpone.......

1 pound of pasta: shells, spaghetti, penne...... (reserve 1 cup of pasta water to thin out sauce if needed)
Start your pasta water, use planty of salt as this is where you salt your pasta.
In a small heavy bottomed pan melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir in with a wooden spoon. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes , just to cook out flour taste. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk in stirring steadily. Add the rest of the milk and cook over medium low heat until it is as thick as heavy cream. Add salt and nutmeg if you desire. If you find any lumps just whisk them out, this isn't French cooking!
Add the cheeses while it is still warm and stir well.
Pour this over the pasta and toss well. If it is too dry add your reserved water.
Serve with more grated Parmesan if you like.


Mommy Gourmet said...

Yumm. I bet your kids ended up being the envy of the neighborhood :)

Ann Minard said...

LOL!! I remember one time at a Thanksgiving Feast I brought homemade whole wheat rolls and as I placed them on the table I saw my kids eying the crappy store bought rolls. To my shame they ate a whole tray's worth! But as they have gotten older, 19,18, and 15 they are much more appreciative of it!

Joie de vivre said...

Wanted to follow you on Twitter, but the link isn't working, just thought I'd let you know.

James said...

I love that sweet picture Ann! The recipe looks great!