Two Pastas with Three Cheeses
This dish lets you experiment with different cheeses, and depending on how adventurous an eater your child is, you might want to try fontina, Gorgonzola, or Asiago, or turn to more familiar cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, or American cheese as one or more of the cheeses you use. The Parmesan cheese should remain, however.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6
- ½ pound dried orecchiette (ear-shaped) pasta
- ½ pound dried shells
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk or soymilk
- 1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and stir once or twice to avoid clumping.
Cook according to package directions, checking for doneness after about 7 minutes. When the pasta is al dente, drain and sprinkle it lightly with the olive oil, stirring to prevent sticking.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and when it has melted, add the flour and stir in the milk. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the cheeses, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Continue to cook, stirring often, until all the cheese has melted.
Add the pasta, stirring well to coat it, and serve hot.
These are only suggested pasta shapes; be sure to select pastas with ridges or indentations so that the pasta catches and holds the cheese sauce. Let your child pick out the shapes that he likes, too. Take him along and let him browse through the selections; you can even order some special shapes online.