Creamy Penne in a Cheese Sauce

This pasta is one of the quick dinners I fix for Kabir. I prefer to make it when Kishore and I are going out for dinner or when Kishore is outstation and I’m eating something simple fixed by the cook—the reason is the richness of this pasta that he can take in easily but it’d weigh us down significantly! It tastes lovely though.

Ingredients:

Boiled Penne – 1-1/2 cups

Grated pizza cheese – ½ cup

Milk – 1 large cup with a teaspoon of flour (maida) mixed in it

Cream from a tetrapack – 2 tablespoons

Bacon – 100 gms

Butter – 1 tablespoon

Garlic – minced to measure ½ teaspoon

Mixed dry herbs (or just thyme) – ½ teaspoon

Tabasco – ½ teaspoon

Salt – about ½ teaspoon or to taste (remember that cheese and bacon are already salty)

Here’s the way to deal with it 🙂

Penne is a forgiving pasta and can be over-boiled without causing it much harm. Boil it in salted water, strain it and keep it ready to use in a colander.

Fry bacon rashes in a dry non-stick pan for a minute or two both sides and keep them aside with their fat.

In a large non-stick pan, melt the butter and add minced garlic and herbs to it.

While stirring it all with a wooden spatula, get the pan off the fire and add the mix of milk and flour to it.

After a quick stir, while still off the flame, add the grated cheese and cream to the pan.

Add salt and Tabasco now itself. Mix it all up.

Get the pan on the fire but keep the fire low. A high flame is likely to split the milk.

Stir the sauce gently till the cheese has melted.

Slide in the bacon rashes with their fat.­ Keep a low fire and stir for a few seconds.

If the sauce has thickened too much, take the pan off the fire, pour in a bit more milk and get it back to the flame after the milk has mixed with the sauce.

Stir the sauce till the desired consistency on a low flame.

Now add the pasta and fold it in the sauce.

As the pasta has sort of evenly taken in the cheese sauce, switch off the flame. Some extra cheese sauce showing through is a good thing.

Transfer it to a serving plate and finish it by crushing pepper on it through a pepper mill.

Note: This sauce has a very low tolerance for waiting so the pasta must be eaten quickly to enjoy it!

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