Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
Provided by Curtis Stone at http://curtisstone.com. I know this idea is not new but it was wonderful! Ate only a small taste and was very proud of my "find"- it was luscious! Three different kinds of cheese, add a little bacon, something green - like peas and some nice spicy flavoring make for a wonderful side dish or main dish.;) I added horseradish cheddar, which is amazing and zippy! Serve it with your favorite wine or champagne, or on a cheese tray cubed - there are many uses for this cheese with a bite! :)
- 8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 2 shallots, chopped
- fresh ground black pepper
- red pepper flakes (a pinch or two) (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 6 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups lightly packed)
- 6 ounces vermont white cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups lightly packed)
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces) or 1⁄2 cup horseradish cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 lb penne pasta or 1 lb gemelli pasta
- 1 cup shelled fresh English pea (from about 1 pound unshelled English pea pods)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3⁄4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Cook the bacon in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until golden brown about 5 minutes;using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and reserve.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.
- Add the shallots to the bacon drippings, sprinkle with salt, red pepper flakes & black pepper and sauté until translucent about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the flour.
- Cook the flour for 1 minute stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and cream, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually add the cheese stirring to blend.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water for 8 minutes stirring often to prevent it from sticking.
- Add the peas and continue boiling until the pasta is tender but still very firm to the bite and the peas are bright green and crisp-tender about 1 minute.
- Drain the pasta and peas.
- Stir the bacon into the cheese sauce.
- Stir the pasta and peas into the cheese sauce.
- The sauce will look loose but will continue to thicken once the pasta is added.
- If the sauce begins to thicken too much add more milk or cream to thin it to the desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Butter 8 individual 6-inch-diameter casserole dishes or one 2 1/2-quart casserole dish; transfer the pasta to the buttered casserole dishes.
- Sprinkle the parsley over the pasta mixture then stir some of it into the pasta mixture.
- Preheat the broiler.
- In a small mixing bowl toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter to coat well.
- Season with salt and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the pasta.
- Broil until the topping is golden brown watching closely about 2 minutes.
- Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.