Sunday, August 23, 2009

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

This recipe makes 12 servings, so I cut everything in half!
1 lb farfalle pasta (I just used whatever pasta I had on hand)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb white ceddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)... I used regular cheddar cheese because white cheddar is a bit pricier
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed
1/2 lb diced smoked ham
-Heat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook pasta in lightly salted water following package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain.
-While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium size, heavy bottomed sauce pan (not nonstick) over medium heat. Stir in flour until well blended; cook 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup milk and cook, whisking continuously, until smooth. Whisk in remaning 1 cup milk and continue to cook, whisking until thickened and smooth, about 5 min. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk in 2 cups of the cheese until smooth.
-In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, cheese sauce and 1 cup of the remaining cheese. Stir in the peas and ham. Pour into prepared baking dish. Scatter remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over the top.
-Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven; allow to cool 10 min. May be served warm or at room temperature.

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