I had the day off today, and it felt great to hang out at home and catch up on some cleaning and cooking. In a few days we are off to Seattle & Vancouver, I can’t wait! I am in desperate need of a long vacation! Yesterday on my way home from work, I saw a block party going on. There are actually very common here in San Francisco. I haven’t noticed any in my neighborhood, but it would be really fun to have one! I have lived in the same place for over 2 years and still do not know many of my neighbors. I guess that’s just city life. This baked light white cheddar pasta dish would be great to bring to a block party. I love mac ‘n cheese, but it is heavy on the calories and fat. For this dish, I used light cheddar cheese mixed with some Gruyere and Pecorino Romano cheeses. I also used non-fat milk instead of whole milk or cream. Panko bread crumbs make a great topping, especially if you are baking it in the oven!
A few months ago, Chinet® asked me to be a part of Summer Baking with Chinet® and sent me some of their bakeware to try out. For this dish, I used the 7.25×9-inch small oval pan. Would you like to try some Chinet® bakeware for yourself? Enter the giveaway below via Rafflecopter to win a free set! Giveaway ends 8/14 at midnight PST. US/Canada only.
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or elbow macaroni)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1½ cups skim milk
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ¼ cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- ¾ cup shredded light white cheddar cheese
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes (al dente).
- Strain and rinse with cool water, then set aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then cook the onions for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and add the salt and flour. Stir well.
- Add the milk and heat until bubbles begin to form, stirring occasionally.
- Add the onion and cheeses, and continue to stir over low heat with a whisk until the sauce thickens.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Transfer pasta to a greased or non-stick 7.25x9-inch baking pan, and pour sauce over.
- Top with Panko breadcrumbs, and bake for 25 minutes.
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