Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pasta and Cheese

This recipe is the ultimate in cheesiness.  When P2 took a bite of this, just the thought of mac and cheese went away.  I’ve never cooked an entire bag (1lb) of pasta at once, so it was a bit overwhelming at first.  It’s a lot of past for 2 people, so I’ll be eating pasta for every meal.

Ingredients:
Kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 pound medium pasta shells
1 small white onion, sliced
1 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 ounces baby spinach

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
photo (1)Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper to taste and mix to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 3 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the milk, then add the thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 25 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and add to the sauce.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the onions to the pasta along with the egg yolks and all but 3 tablespoons of both cheeses; stir to combine, then add the spinach.
Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the reserved cheeses. Bake until browned on top and heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Stay hungry my friend.