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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Creamy and dreamy and a great make ahead dish for a busy work week.
That looks like perfection on a plate. Enjoy your vacation.
I would make choc chip cookies
Mac ‘n cheese is my ultimate comfort food! This looks like a much lighter (but still delicious) version of what I usually make…which means I can eat even more of it 😉
i made mac and cheese similarly and couldnt even tell it was lighter 🙂
I LOOOOOVE this!!!! It looks incredibly delicious. YUM
We have a block party on our street at least once a year, and many years a progressive cocktail party, too. They’re loads of fun. And you’re so right this would be a great dish for a block party, or any party. Great flavor with less fat – so good. Thanks for this.
The white cheddar sauce looks amazing!
You should throw a block party! I used to see them all the time in Philly and we even attended a few – super fun. I think everyone one will be your friend if you show up with delicious mac and cheese!
I would make some casseroles and sides to take to my mother-in-law’s house.
Oooh, girl. This sounds like some classy mac & cheese! Love it. 🙂
And I agree with Jackie – you should throw a block party!
This recipe is fantastic. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, like omitting the gruyere cheese (because I didn’t have any) and adding more of the pecorino romano and white cheddar, and it came out amazing. I’ve been making it for awhile now because my whole family loves it; it’s definitely become a staple recipe in my house. Thanks so much for posting it!
Great to hear, thanks Audrey!