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Easy Cheesy Baked Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound short pasta (we suggest Chiocciole, Spugnole or Mezze Penne)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 generous cup (5 ounces) shredded good quality, extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta in well-salted water until al dente, drain, reserving about one cup of cooking liquid. Add cooked pasta back to pot for mixing. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. In a blender or food processor combine egg and milk, process for a few seconds. Add cheeses, salt, pepper, and other spices and blend 10 seconds longer. Gently stir sauce into cooked pasta, adding just enough pasta water to make a loose sauce (excess liquid will be absorbed during baking.) Pour cheesy noodles into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until thick yet creamy. Remove from oven, let stand about 5 minutes, and serve.

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