This recipe features our own Wagon Wheel cheese. We like to make this with the wheel-shaped pasta called rotelle. Bacon makes it even better, as bacon always does. - Sue Conley & Peggy Smith (Co-Founders)
Serves 6 to 8
1 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 lb Large rotelle pasta
8 tbsps Unsalted butter
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
4 cups Whole milk, at room temperature
1½ lbs Coarsely shredded Wagon Wheel cheese
8 oz Coarsely shreedded sharp white Cheddar
5 slices Bacon, diced, fried crips, and drained
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
1/2 tsp Freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp Mustard poweder (such as Colman's)
1 cup Fresh bread crumbs
4 Medium red heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a 3-qt baking dish.
- Bring an extra-large pot of water to boiling. Stir in the salt and rotelle. Cook pasta until it's just shy of being tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain well.
- In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 6 tbsps of the butter. When the butter is bubbly and fragrant, whisk in the flour to form a smooth paste. Cook, whisking, until the mixture turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes. While still whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Whisk over the heat until the mixture thickens and bubbles, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in both cheeses, the bacon, pepper, nutmeg, and mustard powder. Add the cooked pasta: mix well but gently.
- Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter in a small pan, remove from the heat, and combine with the bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Transfer the cheese mixture to the prepared baking dish. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in wagon-wheel fashion over the top of the pasta mixture. Sprinkle with the buttered bread crumbs.
- Bake, uncovered, until the top is a nice golden brown and bubbling on the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the dish cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.