Four-Cheese Macaroni with Curry Crunch

Hiver 2008
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

A touch of spicy curry flavour is a surprisingly terrific match for cheesy pasta. Do try the four cheeses below (though you can also use up bits of cheese lingering in your refrigerator). In either case, be sure to use the goat cheese for luscious creaminess. For variety, stir in sliced mushrooms or chopped broccoli.

Curry Crumbs
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) finely diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) curry powder
4 cups (1 L) fresh bread crumbs (TIP below)

3 cups (750 mL) macaroni or ditali
½ cup (125 mL) mild creamy chèvre, crumbled
1 cup (250 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (250 mL) shredded provolone cheese
1 cup (250 mL) shredded Friulano or Gouda cheese
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour1½ tsp (7 mL) salt
4 cups (1 L) whole or 2% milk
1 large sprig fresh thyme or ½ tsp (2 mL) dried1 bay leaf
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until bubbly. Add onion; cook 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and curry; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs; set aside.

2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

4. Toss cheeses together with flour and salt. Set aside. Heat milk with thyme and bay leaf in a large saucepan over medium heat. When just starting to bubble, stir in cheese mixture by handfuls. Heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes until sauce is just starting to bubble and is thickened. Remove bay leaf and thyme stem; stir in black pepper and green onions. Stir in pasta until coated.

5. Turn mixture into a 4 qt (4 L) baking dish which has been coated with cooking spray for easy cleanup. Smooth top and evenly sprinkle with curry crumbs. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre feels hot when removed. If crumbs are getting too brown, lay a piece of foil loosely overtop. Serve with sugar snap or snow peas and warm chapati or whole wheat pita. (Any remainder can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat, loosely covered, in microwave on half power until hot.)

Serves 8

What to Serve