Sometimes you just need a little comfort food.
Hmm. Seems like lately I have needed a lot of comfort food. Well, what’s more comforting than beer and cheese?
And pasta, of course. Capatavi are my total favorite. I love their spirals and their little grooves. In my opinion, they are the perfect mac and cheese noodle.
And FYI, I love Flying Dog‘s beers. If you ever happen to be traipsing around Maryland, you should totally check out their brewery. The tour is awesome and the beer is the best!
Background info: A while ago, I decided to make a beer-cheese dip for a party that my friend was having. I looked all over for recipes, and everyone I found, had all kinds of weird things in there like onion and garlic or chicken broth or a packet of ranch powder. I didn’t like the idea of any of that stuff. I was pretty confident that I could stick with simplicity and make an awesome dip using primarily beer and cheese. So I did. And the dip turned out pretty awesome.
Then I thought, what if I put this on noodles?!? So I ordered two cheese from Penn’s Corner: Galen’s Good Old and Honduran Harvest Clover Creek Cheese Cellar. The first is a smooth cheddar-like cheese and the second is a pepper cheese. I love me some spicy. Both are phenomenal.
1 lb capavati or your noodle of choice
2 cups of shredded cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs flour
1 16 oz beer (Use a beer that you like, I used Flying Dog’s Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale, because I love hops. If you don’t like hoppy beers, you could totally use a lager or something)
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot according to package directions
- Heat olive oil in a separate, medium sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Add flour and whisk until the flour turns a blonde color. You just made a roux!
- Add about half of the bottle of beer. Stir to combine with the flour mixture and bring to a simmer
- Slowly add the cream cheese and the shredded cheese, whisking until melted.
- At this point, the beer and cheese mixture may not seem as cohesive as you would like. I mixed it with an immersion blender, not knowing if that would be a good or bad idea. It turned out to be a great idea.
- Season, to taste, with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- If your cheese mixture is too thick, you can add more of the beer until you reach the desired consistency. (A little based on personal preference, but it should nicely coat the noodles)
- If your cheese mixture is just right, you can just drink the rest of that beer. Don’t let it go to waste!
- Combine the cooked pasta and the cheese sauce.
- Pour into a baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Top with panko.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
Let’s just say this one was a success. Not to mention so so easy. You’d be a dullard not to try it sometime. Unless you hate beer or cheese or something.