Aired February 19, 2009
1 pound cavatappi pasta, or any shape you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
3 cups (12 ounces) NY aged sharp cheddar, grated
Preheat broiler to high or oven to 400F.
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta, and cook just shy of al dente, according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium-size skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in the milk, season with salt and ground black pepper, and bring up to a bubble. Turn the burner off and stir in the cheese in a figure-eight motion until it's all melted.
When the pasta is done, drain it well and combine with sauce. Pour into baking dish and place under the broiler in or the oven to brown the cheese and enjoy.
If making a double batch, pour the pasta into a baking dish and stir in your favorite mix in. Let it stand on the counter until cooled, the wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer. When you're ready to eat it, it can go straight from the freezer into in a 400F oven. Cook for 1 hour, covered with foil, the take the foil off and bake for another 15-20 minutes to brown the top.