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.
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
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
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.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
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.
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