There are 2 ways to really give me a high: one is to compliment my cooking. I openly admit it. I have had a few requests for this recipe lately–so am giddy to write this post, hoping you’ll try it, love it, and tell me about it!
You will need…
I realize it’s comfort food, but you get what you go for. Buy the best ingredients you can find, and try to stay with fresh, natural fare.
Oh–and if you like a little kick – I suggest some Italian pepperoncino or a pinch of some ground cayenne in your bechamel.
So, first, the foundation of the dish: the bechamel sauce.
Get 2 big pots out. Fill the larger one with water for your pasta & toss in 2 salt tablets.
If you are an avid pasta maker and you don’t have a jar of these, get one.
I love them so much that we import them from Italy to sell at Nest,
so you can always get one from me. They will last you a long time and you will taste the difference!
Use 1 tablet for 2-4 people, 2 tablets for 4-10 people, etc.
Toss the salt tablet in your water and set to high.
You should have a very full pot of water so that the pasta swims around in it.
It will take awhile for it to come to a rolling boil. Don’t put the pasta in until you have a full blown jacuzzi going in there.
Toss in too early: cardinal sin.
In pot number two, turn your heat on med low and melt your butter.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir, cooking until you have a creamy, consistent sauce.
Turn your heat low and add about a teaspoon of salt and a few cranks of pepper.
Pour in about 1/2 cup of a dry white wine and keep stirring. Pour yourself a glass.
This is where my trick comes in:
Add the brie. I usually take off most or all of the rind, to the sauce and stir it all together until everything is melted.
In a food processor, grate your medium and hard cheeses and blend together.
Keep stirring your bechamel and brie and keep over the lowest heat.
Once your water is boiling, toss in your pasta and cook about 30 seconds short of the time on the box.
I use the spiral cavatappi. A hearty pasta with a cavity to hold some sauce works best for this dish.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it (do not rinse) and toss it into your bechamel pot.
Stir to coat.
Turn the heat off under this pot. Put the lid on, with a bit of air space to let the heat and steam out.
Get out your oven dish and have your grated cheese mixture ready.
Use a measuring cup to transfer a layer of the coated noodles to your oven dish or ramekins.
Layer your cheese mixture, repeat until you have ended with the top layer being the grated cheese later.
optional: sprinkle some a mixture of butter, breadcrumbs and salt on top of your finished dish.
Cook on 400 degrees fahrenheit for about 15-20 min. Until the top is just browning.
Once the top is brown, cover with foil lower the heat until about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
Oh, and let me know what you think!