Prep 35 mins
Cook 25 mins
If you are a lover of blue cheese, then add in the full 1 pound, if not I would suggest to reduce the amount just a bit. Two large red bell peppers for this, and mushrooms are optional. This complete casserole can be prepared, covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours in advance. This is an absolute "killer" casserole!
- 1⁄4 cup butter (can use more butter)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
- 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 -4 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 cup canned sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups whipping cream
- 1 1⁄2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 lb blue cheese
- 1 teaspoon celery seed (or to taste)
- cayenne pepper
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 1⁄4 cups grated parmesan cheese
- Set oven to 375°F.
- Butter an oval (4-quart) baking dish I use my White Corning Ware dish for this).
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until JUST cooked (cook only to firm-tender) drain, and toss with a couple tablespoons of oil or melted butter; cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add in red bell peppers, celery, onion and garlic; saute until softened (about 6-7 minutes) add in sliced mushrooms, if using, season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan combine whipping cream, half and half and blue cheese; stir over low heat until cheese melts; remove from heat, and add in about 1 teaspoon celery seeds and cayenne (to taste).
- In a medium bowl beat egg yolks, and gradually whisk in HALF of the cheese sauce, then return the mixture to saucepan with the cheese sauce, and whisk to blend.
- In a large bowl mix together cooked penne pasta, onion/red pepper mixture and cheese sauce; mix well to combine.
- At this point you can cover and refrigerate to bake later in the day or up to 24 hours.
- Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the casserole.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.