The City Magazine Since 1975

Three-Cheese Penne

Recipe by Heather Garvin (Serves 12) Prep time: 25 minutes; cook time: 45 minutes
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  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 5 Tbs. flour
  • 3 cups milk (not skim)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp yellow cheddar, shredded, divided
  • 1/2 lb. fontina cheese, cubed
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb. penne pasta, cooked

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat the butter and flour over medium heat for two minutes, stirring constantly, until all flour is incorporated. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk. Return to heat and boil until sauce thickens. Add parmesan, one cup cheddar, and fontina a small amount at a time, whisking constantly, letting cheese melt before adding more. Once all cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, stir in mustard, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta, fold in remaining cheddar, and stir until pasta is well coated. Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 20 minutes more, or until top is golden and cheese is bubbling. This dish can be assembled one day in advance. When baking directly from the refrigerator, add 10 minutes to covered cooking time to ensure the dish is heated through. Mack Out Your Mac Change up your mac ’n’ cheese with these tasty additions: crumbled bacon, sliced Kielbasa, diced red peppers and/or tomatoes, or bread crumbs sprinkled over the top before baking.

Photograph by Brie Williams