Monday, April 2, 2012

Dracula's Revenge

Sometimes my rule about making a dish more than one time goes right out the window.  Sometimes it goes out again and again.  Such is the case with this oldie but goodie from Cooking Light.

For years I was an active member of the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards.  Many recipes were exchanged, many friendships were formed and lots of good time was had by all.  Some of those virtual friends have been met in real life and many are still kept up by other means of electronic media.  Even though I no longer participate in those boards, I still have fond memories and still remember many of the recipes we all loved.  This is one of these recipes.

Named for the wonderful amount of sweet garlic in the recipe, this baked pasta never ceases to amaze and delight.  Having made this many times I have made many adjustments and below you will find my most recent tinkerings.  But for the original, head to Cooking Light.

Dracula's Revenge (Inspired by Cooking Light)

2 whole heads of garlic
1/2 lb hot turkey sausage
8 oz baby portabellas, sliced
5 oz greens (ie spinach or arugula)
1/2 t dried rosemary
1 T butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 1% milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz shredded Swiss cheese
1 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
4 cups hot cooked penne (about 1/2 lb uncooked)
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Set garlic aside.

Increase oven temperature to 400°.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the mushrooms about half way through.  Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Place sausage and mushrooms in a large bowl; stir in rosemary and greens, stirring to slightly wilt the greens.  Cover tightly with foil.

Cook the pasta according to directions.  Drain and add to the sausage mixture, covering again with foil.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add the flour to melted butter, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add the milk; cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk (about 10 minutes). Stir in roasted garlic, cheeses, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove mixture from heat.

Add cheese sauce to pasta and sausage, stirring to coat.  Spoon mixture in a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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