Tuesday, March 31, 2009

comfort food

for my friend, connie, who is craving rigatoni and invited us to dinner tonight.

Cheesy, hammy, gooey rigatoni:

1/4 lb. ham, sliced thick
1/4 c. Fontina cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 lb. rigatoni
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1/4 lb. Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Provolone cheese
3 tbsp. butter
2 c. milk

Dice the ham. Grate cheese coarsely. In saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until it bubbles. Whisk in the milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly and continue to cook for a minute. Stir the ham and the cheeses into sauce. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook rigatoni in boiling salted water until almost done. Drain and mix with sauce. Season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper. Butter a 1 1/2 quarts baking dish and pour in rigatoni. Cover loosely with foil and bake until bubbling, 25 minutes. Remove foil; heat broiler. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and toss in bread crumbs. Scatter crumbs over noodles. Brown the dish in the broiler for about 5 minutes and serve with massive green salad, chianti, and if you've got room, dessert.

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