Thursday, September 17, 2009

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Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

My friend Jen passed along this recipe and I thought I'd share it with you. This pasta is easy to make and extremely delicious. The best part is that it's made with ingredients you should already have in your kitchen and it's super amendable. The bechamel sauce takes on the flavor of the cheese so make sure to use a nice, strong cheese if you like your sauces with a little kick.

Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce
Source: Food Network (here)


Bechamel Sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper
I cup fontina (I used parmesan instead)
1/2 Lb thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned (I omitted)

1 lb dry rigatoni
3 Tbsp butter unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Bechamel sauce: In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto, and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.
Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown.


Eliana said...

This is almost like a creamy mac'n'cheese. Looks delish.

Stephanie said...

This looks so comforting and so good! I've not done a bechamel sauce, but this sounds like a great one to try!