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Perciatelli and Cheese Bake

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Perciatelli and Cheese

Perciatelli and Cheese

Photo: Diana Rattray
The rich and delicious cheese sauce makes this perciatelli or bucatini bake extra-special. Feel free to use spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine if you can't find perciatelli or bucatini.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces perciatelli or bucatini
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 cups milk, low fat is fine
  • pinch nutmeg
  • scant teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 1 cup soft fresh bread crumbs

Preparation:

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender, following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.

Heat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dish or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Blend in the flour until smooth and bubbly. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, and peppers. Gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened.

Reserve about 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese and 3 tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano for topping. Add the remaining cheese to the sauce mixture and cook, stirring, just until cheese is melted. Combine the cheese saice with the drained pasta. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the pasta mixture.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the soft bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the cheese layer. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serves 6 to 8.

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