You may remember last year we went to a local wine and pasta event in my area called Pasta, Primo, Vino. Well, we decided to go again this year and we were not sorry. This year we tried a winery we had never been to called Applewood. The pasta they were serving was so delicious, I decided to share it with you. I like to call it a wine and cheese pasta. But they titled it Blue Cheese Baked Pasta. Whatever it’s named…it sure is rich, cheesy and just plain tasty!
The pasta is made with Applewood Riesling, which is great on its own, but works so well in this dish. It serves 8.
Blue Cheese Baked Pasta
1 lb. pasta, bowties, large shells (I used the campanelle)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Applewood Riesling (or whatever Riesling you have)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until on the very firm side of al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Do not allow it to brown. Gradually whisk in wine, then milk and cream. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and add the cheddar cheese and 1 cup of the blue cheese. Whisk until cheese is completely melted. Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss gently to combine. Transfer mixture to the buttered baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup blue cheese. The prepared dish will look like this..
Bake until sauce begins to bubble and the pasta starts to brown, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with chives right before serving.
Serve with a simple green salad and a chilled bottle of Applewood Riesling.