The Penne dish was scheduled for Monday and it feels good to have accomplished sticking to my schedule. Tuesday is also as planned.
I made many changes to this dish. The most obvious one is that I used gluten-free penne. I also had to substitute some of the cheese, using Pizza flavored cheese for the Muenster and using yellow Cheddar in place of white. I could not use bread crumbs so I used processed Rice Chex, an idea I got from another gluten-free cook.
I was fortunate to find this recipe online. I was prepared to type it out, from my book, Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking.
Penne Rigate Macaroni and Cheeses (adapted)
- 3/4 pound penne rigate or mostaccioli
- 1 2/3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cups milk
- 1 cups half-and-half (can be reduced-fat)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pizza flavored cheese, diced
- 4 ounces cheddar, diced
- 2 ounces cream cheese, diced
- 1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg beater or 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup ground Rice Crispies or bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, taking care not to overcook because it will cook more in the oven. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the milk.
- In a deep saucepan, whisk together the remaining 1 cup and 2 tablespoons milk, the half-and-half, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and bring to a low boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened.
- Lower the heat to the lowest setting and add the cheeses, one at a time, and leave on the lowest heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring constantly.
- Place the cooked pasta in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or oversized gratin dish. Place one-third of the pasta in the dish, then pour over one-third of the sauce. Make two more layers, then top with the crumbs and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately.