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Three Cheese and Herb Penne


2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup all purpose flour or Wondra
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 cups milk
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, basil etc.)
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In a bowl, combine the two cheeses together and set aside.

2. Cooks Note: Any sharp cheese may be substituted for the Cheddar, which makes this a great dish for using up cheese ends. Provolone works particular well and is recommended.

3. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain well.

4. Transfer drained pasta to a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Set aside.

5. Melt butter in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour, mustard powder and nutmeg.

6. Cooks Note: If you're wary of this step in the sauce-making process, try using an instant-dissolve flour such as Wondra. Cake flour is very finely milled and also works well for making sauces.

7. Gradually whisk in milk, making sure that there are no lumps. Cook over high heat, continuing to stir until mixture reaches a boil.

8. Reduce heat and simmer (tiny bubbles along the edges of saucepan) for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

9. Set aside 3/4 cup of the mixed cheese. Add remaining cheese to sauce a handful at a time. Stir in herbs. Use fresh herbs, if available; if using dry, use the lesser amount since dried herbs are more concentrated while fresh herbs are more flavorful. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

10. Toss sauce with pasta. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

11. Place baking dish under a preheated broiler for about 1 minute or until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 4-6 people.

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