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Cheesy Baked Cavatappi with Onions and Peppers

Randy Mayor
Yield 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
Determining an accurate cup measure of a wavy pasta, such as cavatappi, can be tricky; weighing the pasta is simpler. And it's much easier to weigh the amount of cheese you need and shred it all at once.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 2 large peppers)
  • 12 ounces uncooked cavatappi (about 4 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 ounce all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 361
  • caloriesfromfat 30 %
  • fat 12.2 g
  • satfat 6.3 g
  • monofat 3.8 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 17.1 g
  • carbohydrate 46.1 g
  • fiber 1.7 g
  • cholesterol 36 mg
  • iron 2.3 mg
  • sodium 421 mg
  • calcium 360 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Remove mixture from pan; set aside.

  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

  4. Combine milk and flour in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; add milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; gradually add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Stir in salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and ground red pepper. Add onion mixture and pasta, stirring well to combine. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with parsley, if desired.