Beer Cheese Orecchiette

  • 8 oz orecchiette pasta*
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup beer
  • 2 tbsp seasoned Panko bread crumbs

Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in skillet; add seasonings and stir in enough flour to create a roux. Stir until smooth and add enough milk for a creamy white sauce. Keep stirring, adding more milk as needed; then add cheese and stir until melted. Turn off heat and stir in beer. Drain pasta until almost drained, keeping a little of the water; dump into skillet and stir until pasta is coated. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and place into 400 degree oven until crumbs are toasted, about 10 minutes.

*Orecchiette is a nice bowl-shaped pasta that holds the cheese sauce nicely (I found mine at Trader Joe’s). If you cannot find it at your local store, use small shell pasta instead.

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