>Around The World Cheese Pasta

>Comfort Food

Quick what just came to mind? Tonight for me it was macaroni and cheese. It’s been FOREVER since I had macaroni and cheese. Warm, melted gooey goodness dripping off a fork.

Oh my!

Today was Monday and ugh what a Monday. Nothing in particular really MADE it an Ugh Monday; it just was. Therefore I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I mean really get down and deep in my kitchen kinda cooking you know what I mean?

I needed something quick and for me that means anything that can be prepped and cooked in an hour or so. When you cook everything from scratch, rarely do I find anything that takes me less than 30 mins. I tried, really I did but well, I haven’t been successful with that yet. I simply can not bring myself to buy pre-prepared food in a bag or a box or a little plastic container that says “Just pour”. I did that and I remember all too well where THAT landed me; Unhappy with food and downright miserable in my kitchen.

And I just don’t have the energy to talk about the ingredients in most of that stuff. Can you say “Mad Science!?” That’s a whole other story and you’re welcome to dive into the whole ugly business in my “Why Butter” page. For tonight I just wanted quick but comforting and sitting at my computer “macaroni and cheese” came to me like a warm blanket wrapping itself around me on a cold night.

Rummaged through the freezer and fridge and there on the shelf were the blocks of cheeses I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. Cheeses from Italy and France, Ireland and Switzerland, Holland and yes even Milwaukee Wisconsin.

I had my muse.

DSC_4871

I’ve always wanted to travel around the world and although I have yet to begin, I think tonight’s dinner comes close…kinda.

Okay, here’s the dealio. If you don’t have a smorgasbord of cheeses on hand or perhaps a little tight in the purse strings, no problem it’s just a very worldly version of your every day Mac & Cheese. Good old Cheddar works just find by itself. You really can’t go wrong (except maybe with some Longaberger, I don’t recommend it).

Mix up any of the cheeses you have and see what you create. Stop by and let me know if you find a perfectly ambrosia combination.

Around The World Cheese Pasta

Ingredients

3 C. Rotini, Penne or other bite size pasta; uncooked
1/2 C. Butter
1/4 C. All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Dry mustard
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 C. Milk
1 C. Heavy cream
1 C. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated.
1/2 C. Swiss cheese
1/2 C. Gruyere cheese
1/2 C. Dubliner cheese
1/4 C. Romano cheese
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
2 C. Broccoli florets quartered
1 1/2 C Fresh ham diced to about 1/2 inch

Preparations:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grate all cheeses and set aside.

3. In small bowl, combine Romano and bread crumbs. Set aside.

4. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

5. Lightly butter a two quart casserole dish and spread the ham in a layer at the bottom of the dish.

6. In a second layer add the broccoli florets adding more if needed or desired.

7. In separate large sauce pan melt butter over low heat.

8. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.

9. Stir in milk and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute or until thickened.  remove from heat.

10. Stir in cheese until melted. The milk may be hot enough to melt the cheese on it’s own. If not add pot back to a low heat stove stirring constantly to avoid clumping or over cooking.

11. Drain macaroni and gently add into cheese sauce. Stir to combine completely.

12. Pour into casserole dish. Bake uncovered until bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

CLICK TO PRINT RECIPE

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