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Bleu Cheesy Mac with Pear Walnut Croutons

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups rotini pasta*
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • 3 oz. Manchego White Cheddar or Cheddar, grated
  • 2 oz. quality bleu or roquefort cheese crumbled,**
  • 3 slices thin white bread like Pepperidge Farm thin white, lightly toasted and buttered
  • 1 ripe barlett pear cored and diced {leave peel on for color and texture}
  • 3 oz. walnuts chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and stir. Cover pot and turn off burner. Let pot sit on burner while preparing sauce.
  • Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in flour to form a roux. Slowly incorporate milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until sauce is thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses. Return to burner on low to melt if necessary.
  • Drain pasta and turn into a greased shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over pasta and gently push pasta down and around in sauce to coat and distribute.
  • Cut bread into small cubes and toss with diced pear and chopped walnuts in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle evenly over top of pasta. Cover and refrigerate if desired.
  • Bake pasta covered at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more. If pasta is cold, increase baking time 15-30 minutes or until pasta is hot and bubbly. Serves 6-8.
  • To reheat, drizzle pasta with a little milk or cream and bake covered at 325 until heated through

Notes

*use a pasta with a lot of surface variations to hold the creamy sauce
**use more if you want extra bleu cheese flavor or substitute 2 oz. of preferred cheese
Keyword bleu cheese pasta, mac & cheese, pasta casserole, pear walnut croutons