Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Blue, Parmesan
Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food, but this version with tangy Emmi-Roth Käse Buttermilk Blue and pancetta, is elegant and sophisticated. Slowly adding the milk and cream guarantees the smoothest sauce possible, making a rich and decadent baked pasta dish. The parsley adds a hit of freshness and brightens everything up.
Start by cooking the penne in salted, boiling water. Cook the pasta two minutes less than the package directions. Crisp up the pancetta and add the green onions and thyme. Set aside.
Melt the butter and add the flour, cook for a few minutes.
Combine the milk and cream into a large measuring cup. Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour about a 1/4 cup at a time.
I promise that by taking your time, and adding the milk mixture slowly, will result in the creamiest and smoothest sauce. Keep stirring and adding more milk until it is all incorporated
Add the nutmeg, mustard powder, salt, and pepper.
Add most of the cheese, reserving some for the top.
Add the pasta, and coat with the cheese sauce. Add the reserved pancetta mixture.
Pour the penne into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with Panko crumbs, and the reserved cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven until bubbly and brown. Top with fresh parsley.
Dressed-Up Penne and Blue Cheese
1 pound penne pasta
3 ounces pancetta, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (6 ounces) Wisconsin Buttermilk Blue Cheese, crumbled and divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Add penne to salted, boiling water. Cook 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a sauté pan, over medium heat, cook pancetta until brown and crispy. Add the green onions and cook for another two minutes. Add fresh thyme and set mixture aside.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly for two minutes. Pour the milk and cream into a large measuring cup. Slowly add the milk mixture a 1/4 cup at a time, stirring the whole time, so that the mixture remains smooth. When you have added all of the milk and cream, turn the heat up a bit, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the nutmeg, mustard powder, and season with salt and pepper. When the mixture comes to a bubble, add 3/4 cup of Blue Cheese and almost all of the Parmesan Cheese, leaving some for the top.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Add the reserved pancetta. Check for seasonings. Add more salt and pepper as needed. Pour the pasta into a 2 quart casserole dish and cover with the Panko crumbs. Dot the top with the remaining cheeses. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
Top with fresh parsley.
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Blue Cheese, mac and cheese, macaroni, Parmesan, penne
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