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Chic Mac and Cheese

Prep time 35 mins
Cook time 1 hr, 5 mins
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins
Yield 12 servings
Blue cheese rules in this pasta classic. Serve it alongside a grilled steak.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 pound blue cheese, crumbled (we tested with Maytag)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh celery leaves
  • 1 pound uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and celery; sauté 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with salt. Set vegetables aside.

  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add flour, whisking until smooth; cook 1 minute. Gradually add whipping cream and half-and-half; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Whisk in celery seeds and white pepper. Remove from heat; add blue cheese, whisking until cheese melts.

  3. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until lightly beaten. Gradually whisk about one-fourth of hot white sauce into eggs, whisking constantly; add to remaining white sauce, stirring constantly. Whisk in celery leaves.

  4. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan. Stir in vegetables and white sauce. Pour into a lightly greased 13" x 9" baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

  5. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Christmas With Southern Living 2006