RECIPE TITLE "Classic Macaroni and Cheese" from America's Test Kitchen, courtesy of Cooks Online on Compuserve
Serves 6 to 8, or 10 to 12 as a side ---
It's crucial to cook the pasta until tender--just past the "al dente" stage. In fact, overcooking is better than undercooking the pasta. Whole, low-fat, and skim milk all work well in this recipe. The recipe can be halved and baked in an 8" -square, broilersafe baking dish. If desired, offer celery salt or hot sauce (such as Tabasco) for sprinkling at the table.
For the Casserole:
1 lb elbow macaroni
12 Tab. sweet butter
6 Tab. flour
1/2 med onion, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
9 black peppercorns
4 1/2 cup milk
2 teas. salt
1 teas. freshly ground black pepper
6 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
2 Tab. melted sweet butter
1. For the bread crumbs: Pulse bread and butter in food processor until crumbs are no larger than 1/8" , ten to fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.
2. For the pasta and cheese: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 qrt water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 Tbsp salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
3. In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to med and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 tsp salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9-by 13" baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.
|The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles
How do you boil pasta? How much water and salt do you need? Should you add oil to the water? How well should you drain it? (Turn to page viii for the answers.)
One part cooking course, one part kitchen reference, and one part foolproof recipes, The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles tells the story of flour and water like no other book on the market. Extensively covering the basics of pasta and noodles, this thoroughly researched and taste-tested guide is dedicated to the home cook who needs practical advice on everything from penne to pad thai. The experts at Cook's Illustrated present their knowledge and techniques in a hands-on way so that each and every step of the cooking process can be understood and easily executed. The authors leave room for interpretation and taste, of course, but you will not walk away from this book without knowing which olive oil to buy, why egg pastas tend to complement cream sauces, or how to mince garlic.
The book is arranged in four sections, exploring first dried semolina pasta, then fresh Italian-style pasta, Mediterranean pasta and European dumplings, and finally, Asian noodles. There are thirteen chapters devoted to sauces alone, and recipes are included with the type of pasta with which they work best -- from the simplest to the complex, but all within reach of the home cook. As a bonus, the book includes excellent photographs of the various pasta and noodle shapes, and impeccable illustrations clearly depict each step of key techniques. Special sections are devoted to such specific topics as "Are Electric Pasta Machines Worth the Money?" and "A Guide to Popular Cheeses."
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For New York Times bestselling author Giada De Laurentiis, pasta has always been one of the great pleasures of the table: it’s healthy and delicious; it can be light and delicate or rich and hearty; it’s readily available and easy to prepare--everything you want in a meal. And nothing satisfies a craving for Italian food quite like it! In Everyday Pasta, Giada invites you to share her love of this versatile staple with more than a hundred brand-new recipes for pasta dishes, as well as for complementary sauces, salads, and sides tempting enough to bring the whole family to the dinner table.
Without forgetting about the classics we all love, Giada makes the most of the many varieties of pasta available to create recipes that combine familiar flavors in exciting new ways.
Although most of these dishes are all-in-one meals in themselves, Giada also supplies recipes for her favorite appetizers, side dishes, and salads to round them out.
Whether you’re looking for a simple summer supper that makes the most of seasonal vegetables or seeking comfort in a pasta bowl on a cold winter’s night, Everyday Pasta offers just the thing.
• Tuna, Green Bean, and Orzo Salad
• Crab Salad Napoleans with Fresh Pasta
• Roman-Style Fettuccini with Chicken
• Baked Pastina Casserole
• Tagliatelle with Short Ribs Ragou
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Easy to prepare and endlessly versatile, pasta makes a wonderful quick supper when time is short but easily becomes an elegant meal when the occasion requires. In Everyday Pasta, Giada shows you how, with a few basic ingredients from the fridge and the pantry, you’re never more than minutes away from a delicious pasta dinner. More info
|Food Made Fast: Pasta (Williams-Sonoma)
Delicious Recipes for Busy People Designed for the busy home cook, Food Made Fast is the latest collectible series from Williams-Sonoma. Using a straightforward approach to everyday cooking, Food Made Fast is about delicious food, simply prepared, with easy-to-follow recipes and tips. Each book emphasizes keeping a well-stocked pantry, planning ahead, and using fresh ingredients as the keys to cooking delicious meals with a minimum of time and effort. Dedicated to a single subject - from Soup to Pasta to Weeknight - each volume makes it simple to plan, cook, and enjoy great-tasting food throughout the week. The recipes are both simple and inspired, making quick cooking a truly satisfying experience. More info