Many countries have their own version of this popular dish because it is delicious! Thus it is convenient use a store-bought package of Macaroni & Cheese when you are in a hurry, to prepare your own grown-up version of this classic pasta is simple and quick too.
You can use whole wheat pasta to make this dish healthier and richer in fiber. Plus, you will be able to control the amount of sodium added and there will be no artificial flavors or artificial colors.
This flavorsome dish is a great choice for family dinners or dinner parties.
Whole Wheat & Cheese Pasta
14oz of whole wheat penne, uncooked
4 cups of warm milk
½ cup of whole wheat flour
1 stick of butter
1 cup of Fontina cheese, diced or grated
½ cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
½ cup of bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Lightly grease a casserole dish with cooking oil. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring to a boil enough water to cook the pasta. Add the pasta and add salt. Drain the penne when is partially cooked and the inside is still hard. You will finish cooking the pasta in the oven.
Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until smooth and the color turns light brown (about 2 to 4 minutes). Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. It is better to add ½ cup at the time to avoid lumps.
Whisk constantly until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Season it with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the Fontina and the mozzarella. Stir until cheese is fully melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
Transfer penne to prepared casserole dish. Pour in sauce and gently toss to combine.
In a small bowl, mix remaining Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Toss to combine. Pour over pasta with cheese sauce. Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown – about 20 to 25 minutes.
Note: You can add chicken (grilled or roasted) or shrimp (steamed, broiled or grilled) to the pasta before baking it.