The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

This is based off a Giada DeLaurentiis recipe. But I modified it a bit. It’s the ultimate mac and cheese for adults, though kids seem to enjoy it too!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE:
  • 1 stick Butter
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 quart Whole Milk, Room Temperature
  • 2 pinches Fresh Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Fontina Cheese, Grated, Divided
  • 1 dash Salt
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper
  • _____
  • FOR PASTA:
  • 1 pound Dry Rigatoni
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Diced

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

For 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, and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

For Pasta:
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.

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