The combination of cheeses—white cheddar, parmesan, and Gruyère—give this dish its rich flavor. The pasta makes an ideal side dish during the holidays.
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup (4 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (8 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided*
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and half-and-half; cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, and next 3 ingredients until smooth.
Stir together pasta and cheese mixture, and pour into 4 lightly greased 8-oz. baking dishes or 1 lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. (If using 8-oz. baking dishes, place in a jelly-roll pan for easy baking, and proceed as directed.) Top with remaining 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese.
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
*Swiss cheese may be substituted.
Note: To make ahead, proceed with recipe as directed through Step (Do not top with remaining Gruyère cheese.) Cover and chill up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Increase oven temperature to 400°. Top pasta mixture with remaining Gruyère cheese, and bake 10 more minutes or until golden.