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Cat’s Mac and Cheese
From Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook, by Georgeanne Brennan.

The Cat, as you know, is full of very tricky treats. And this trick of stuffing pasta with cheese is one that you can do with ease!

Ingredients:

15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp minced shallots
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 egg yolk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces extra-large penne, rigatoni, or shell pasta
2-1/2 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, shallots, parsley, egg yolk, and Parmesan cheese, half of the salt, and half of the black pepper. Mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta as directed on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle.

3. Cut off a corner of a sealable plastic bag and fill it half full with the stuffing. Insert the cut-off tip into each piece of pasta and squeeze, repeating until all the pasta is filled. (You can use a spoon and your fingers instead if you want.)

4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

5. In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When it foams, remove it from the heat and add the flour slowly, whisking to make a roux, or paste.

6. Return the pan to the heat and whisk in the milk, extremely slowly.

7. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and the taste of the flour has gone, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper.

8. Into an 8-by-8-inch casserole or baking dish (about 3 inches deep) ladle enough sauce just to cover the bottom. Spread out one-third of the stuffed pasta, then pour one-third of the sauce over it. Repeat twice with the remaining pasta and sauce.

9. In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1/2 Tbsp of butter and add the bread crumbs, stirring until the bread crumbs are toasted, about 2 minutes. Put them on top of the pasta.

10. Put in the oven and bake until lightly golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: Makes 4 servings



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