Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Created as part of the Ready Set Cook #3 contest, this is a great way to meet your health and comfort food needs.
- 1 lb penne pasta, cooked until al dente and drained and rinsed
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 12 ounces water
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 cups cheddar cheese or 2 cups muenster cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped medium fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large zucchini, cut into 1 inch dice (optional peeling)
- 1 cup corn kernel (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch dice
- To make the cheese sauce: Pour the evaporated milk into a bowl.
- Fill the empty can with water and pour that into the bowl as well.
- Mix and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- When melted, add the flour and start stirring.
- A whisk is the best utensil to use here.
- When all the flour has been absorbed by the butter, add the milk and water mixture, and keep whisking.
- After about 2 minutes (maybe 3) the sauce will start to thicken.
- Keep whisking, making sure that there aren't any lumps.
- Lumps are not fun to eat.
- When the sauce has thickened, take it off the flame.
- Add the shredded cheese and keep whisking until it's melted completely.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
- To make the vegetable sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
- Add the onion and saute until golden.
- Add the garlic, zucchini, corn kernels and red pepper.
- Saute, stirring every minute or so, until the vegetables have softened.
- Putting the whole thing together: Mix the pasta with the sauteed vegetables.
- Add the cheese sauce and mix it all together, so everything is distributed evenly.
- Pour into a greased baking dish large enough to hold everything.
- Don't worry if your dish is too large, this makes for more surface area which makes for a more crunchy top for everyone to fight over.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45-50 minutes.
Oh my, this is good eating! It's easy to prepare and uses ingredients that I generally keep on hand. The only change I made was to grate the zucchini to hide it from picky kids and they never knew it was there! All my group enjoyed it, from the 2 yr. old to the 50-something yr. old! And it has a very high nutritional content. Mirj, thanks once again for sharing another one of your delicious recipes!