Shredding Brussels sprouts and adding them to a creamy cheese sauce adds a hint of roasted flavor to a favorite baked pasta dish -- and renders them pretty much unrecognizable to those who scorn the green globes.
|1 lb ziti or rigatoni||2 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour|
|Kosher salt||2 1/2 cups lowfat or skim milk|
|Olive oil||1/4 lb Fontina cheese, shredded|
|1/2 lb Brussels sprouts||Freshly ground black pepper|
|3 Tbs unsalted butter|
Fill a 6-quart stockpot with water and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, toss lightly with olive oil, and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Stem the Brussels sprouts and slice thinly into shreds, discarding any loose or dark leaves.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 3-quart heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, then stir in the shredded Brussels sprouts and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the sprouts are tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the remaining butter and stir to melt. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes until the sauce darkens slightly to a golden brown.
Slowly whisk the milk into the stockpot – the mixture will clump slightly, then smooth out – and raise the heat to medium. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Add 3/4 of the shredded Fontina to the sauce and stir until melted. Add black pepper and kosher salt to taste.
Add the reserved ziti and stir to combine.
Pour the pasta and sauce into a 9 X13-inch baking dish and sprinkle the reserved Fontina cheese evenly across the casserole.
Bake for 15 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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