I made this for dinner last night with some gruyere and parmesan I had in the house and this insane Italian veggie pasta that is my favorite pasta ever. This is not a recipe so much as a method learned from making actual recipes, and cut way down to feed me with some leftovers for the next day. Quantities will be listed as “some” and times will be listed as “a while” and you’ll be done “when it looks right.”
- Grate some cheese. You want 3 parts melty cheese (cheddar, gruyere, jack – whatever you have around) to one part fresh grated parmesan. I’m going to say between a cup and a cup and a half of cheese, total. If you don’t have a block of parmesan, don’t even bother with it – just keep going with the melty cheese.
- Boil some water and cook half a bag of pasta according to package directions so that it is al-dente. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt some butter in the bottom of a pan – say, 2 tablespoons? Spoon flour in by the tablespoon and mix well to make something that looks like the paste you used to eat in kindergarten. This is called a roux. Add some salt & a lot of pepper to the roux.
- Pour milk into the roux a little bit at a time and stir it in until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
- Now add the grated cheese, a little bit at a time, and stir it well. You’ll have a sort of sticky pile of sauce going on – like cross between a sauce and a stretchy dough. The proper descriptive term is “goop.”
- Drain the pasta and toss it with a little butter, salt, pepper, to keep it from getting sticky and make it taste good.
- In a buttered casserole dish, make a layer of half the pasta. Spread half the goop on top. Then add the rest of the pasta and spread the rest of the goop on top of that. Now, if you have breadcrumbs or feel like making them, sure, ok, that’s when you would add them. What I do is sprinkle some of the “parmesan” from my roommate’s green canister on top and then cover that with a good sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- I shove it in the oven and bake it until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling and it looks right.
I never know how to talk about serving sizes. How hungry are you? How much do you eat? I think this recipe feeds 2-3, depending on what kind of side dishes you have going on. Enjoy!