Eating In // Baked Rigatoni & Cheese

This is basically a classic baked macaroni & cheese dish. I just like to use rigatoni. I like how the noodles get stuffed full of the cheese sauce. You can always use macaroni noodles instead. 

The Goods: 
Serves 8-12 
  • 1 lb dried rigatoni
  • 6 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 quart whole milk 
  • 3 tbls flour
  • 3 tbls butter
  • 5 slices fresh wheat bread (from the bakery section at the grocery store)
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put on pot of water to boil. It should be salted really well. While the water is coming to boil, get a heavy bottom saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour, and the slowly whisk in the milk. Bring the milk to a bare simmer. 
  2. Once the water is boiling, plunge the pasta into it and cook for 5-6 minutes. You want there to be some substantial bite still left to the pasta. In a food processor, grind the bread slices up until they are crumbs. Stir with the half stick of melted butter; set aside
  3. Back to the cheese sauce, once the milk has come to a simmer, turn the heat off and add the cheese a little bit at a time, stirring between each addition. Season with salt and pepper.  
  4. The pasta should be strained and then added to the cheese sauce. Pour the whole mixture into an oven proof dish and top with the bread crumbs and butter and bake for 30 minutes or so until golden brown and bubbly. 

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