Mac and Cheese with Leeks and Gorgonzola
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced
- Bechamel Sauce, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
- 1/4 cup grated Asiago
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan
- Bechamel Sauce:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter and oil and cook the leeks until tender but not browned. In a bowl combine the cooked leeks with the Bechamel Sauce, Gorgonzola, Asiago, thyme, oregano, and parsley. Toss the sauce with the pasta until well coated and season, to taste.
Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the remaining butter. Fill the springform pan with the pasta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.Bechamel Sauce:
In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the garlic for 2 minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Remove the garlic and discard. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to make a roux, cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
Heat the milk to just below boiling. Pour 1 cup of milk into the roux, whisking constantly as the sauce thickens. Add the rest of the milk, in 1/2 cup portions, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer the sauce over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring the bottom of the pot with a spatula to prevent burning. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese, kosher salt and nutmeg to finish the sauce.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes