Thursday, January 3, 2013

Homemade Shells & Cheese

This is the last recipe I wanted to share from Nora's turtle birthday party.

I was inspired by this recipe and this recipe, but I combined them to make my own. 

Baked Shells & Cheese

  • 1 lb. medium shell pasta
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 scant Tbsp. dried mustard
  • 6 c. milk
  • 4 c. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 c. Parmesan, grated or shredded
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 c. Panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Drain pasta.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Add flour while whisking constantly to make a roux.  Continue whisking constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  
  3. Stir in dry mustard.  Continue whisking as you add the milk and make sure it's free of lumps. 
  4. Stir in cheddar and Parmesan as well as salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat until cheese is melted and sauce is slightly thickened.
  5. Turn off heat and stir pasta into cheese sauce.  Pour mixture into 9x13 pan (I recommend spraying with non-stick spray first).
  6. In a skillet, melt 6 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.  Add Panko bread crumbs and stir until all bread crumbs are coated.  Cover cheesy pasta with bread crumbs.  
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
*This is how I made the Shells & Cheese for Nora's party.  I thought the finished product was slightly bland, but that was okay since it was basically the "kid" option for dinner.  Next time I would add more salt and pepper and perhaps more dry mustard.



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