Four-Cheese Penne Pasta Bake

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

 This cheesy vegetarian pasta dish was a hit with the whole family.    My kids were calling it "Fancy Mac & Cheese", which ended up being a pretty apt description of it.   Serve it up with a green salad  and you've got a hearty vegetarian meal! 
 Click here for printable recipe.  

The ingredients:
 1 lb. penne pasta
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 lb. mushrooms, chopped (I only used 1/2 pound)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low fat milk (I used fat-free)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)

4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese ( I ran out, so mine didn't include any Parmesan)

Directions:  In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms; saute 8 minutes or until tender.  Remove from skillet.
Heat remaining oil in skillet.  Add onion; saute 5 minutes.  Add garlic; saute 2 minutes. 

Whisk together flour and milk in small bowl.  Add to skillet.

Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low; add salt and nutmeg and simmer 5 minutes.  Sauce will thicken slightly.

Heat oven to 400°.  Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish. 

In the same pot used to cook penne, toss penne with sauce, mushrooms, lemon juice, and pepper.

Combine all the cheeses in a bowl; set aside 1/4 cup.   Add remaining cheese to penne mixture, stirring gently.

Spoon into prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

Bake uncovered at 400° for 20-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.    Enjoy!

NOTE:  This can be made ahead and frozen if desired.  Simply do everything but bake it, then freeze up to 1 month.  To serve, thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Bake as directed.


SnoWhite October 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM  

Love the sound of this one :)

Julie October 13, 2010 at 11:48 PM  

I know my kids would love this!

Debbie October 14, 2010 at 6:38 AM  

Exactly my kind of dish and it looks delicious!!!

karen January 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM  

I was all excited to make this one but the ground nutmeg was too heavy for me. I think I will leave it out next time. THanks for sharing your recipes!

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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