Baked four-cheese pasta

By admin
27 October 2010

250 g shell pasta

150 g bacon rashers (optional)

SAUCE

25 ml butter

30 ml cake flour

500 ml hot milk

salt and white pepper to taste

40 ml basil pesto

CHEESE MIXTURE

250 ml smooth cottage cheese

100 g blue cheese such as Simonzola or Gorgonzola, crumbled

250 ml grated Cheddar cheese

250 ml grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 190 °C and grease a deep ovenproof dish with butter.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Drain, rinse under hot water, drain again and set.

Fry the bacon in a dry pan over medium heat until brown and crisp.

Chop or break into pieces.

SAUCE

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in the flour and heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

Add the hot milk gradually and heat until the white sauce thickens and is cooked.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in the basil pesto.

CHEESE MIXTURE

Mix the cottage cheese, blue cheese, Cheddar and half the mozzarella.

If using large pasta shells stuff them with the cheese mixture.

Spoon a little sauce in the bottom of the prepared dish.

Arrange half the stuffed shells on top.

Spoon over a layer of sauce.

Repeat until all the ingredients have been used.

If using small pasta shells layer the pasta, cheese mixture and sauce in the prepared dish.

For both: scatter the bacon and remaining mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 4-6.

QUICK IDEA Add instant flavour to white sauce by stirring in a tablespoon or two of pesto. Don’t be put off by the blue cheese – it gives a subtle flavour. This was our favourite.

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