Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baked Penne Pasta and Missoula's Best Burger

I spent the afternoon watching "Steak Paradise" and "Burger Paradise" on Travel Channel yesterday, which means I was craving both steak or burger really bad for dinner! This always happens to me and I don't know why I do it to myself. I'll watch Diners, Drive-In's and Dives right before I go to bed and I always go to bed starving because I want to eat what is on TV so bad!

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?!?!?

So after watching 2 hours of mouth-watering beef and whining that I need a burger, Dusty helped me with my cravings by taking me on a culinary field trip to the Missoula Club, or Mo Club if you are from Missoula, for my first Mo Club burger which is apparently "the best burger in Missoula."
This burger wasn't fancy, but it was good! It was so greasy but oh so wonderful....something you want to eat maybe once a year. Plus, you don't want to watch how they make them. It was frightening! The inner-Microbiologist in me was cringing while I was watching them make my burger on their nasty/greasy griddle. But it was so good and a fun experience! Dusty enjoyed his burger with a Green Beer (for St. Patty's Day) and I enjoyed mine with a Mike's Hard Lemonade (chick beer!). Just a good time for a Saturday night at Downtown Missoula!

But today I was feeling the need for some real good food and found the perfect recipe on Simply Scratch. Laurie always has the best recipes and this Baked Penne Pasta was definitely a winner! Very savory and tasty while being super comforting....perfect for a Sunday night dinner. I altered the ingredients to what I could find at my grocery store and I served this pasta with Garlic Bread. It was delicious!

Here is what you are going to need:
-1/2 lb Penne Pasta
-1/2 lb Mild Italian Sausage-not in casing
-3 tbsp Butter
-5 tbsp Flour
-1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
-2 cloves minced Garlic
-3 cups 1% Milk at room temperature
-4 oz thinly sliced Portabella Mushrooms
-1/4 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes-sliced and drained of oil
-3/4 cup Italian 6 Cheese Blend (or Sharp Provolone)
-3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese-divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish.

Cook the Penne Pasta according to directions until al dente and drain the pasta. Set aside. Brown the Mild Italian Sausage until cooked all the way through and then set it aside to cool.

In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt the 3 tbsp of Butter over medium heat. Once melted add Flour and minced Garlic. Cook the roux while whisking for 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add the Milk and then bring the sauce to a simmer. Add in the ground Nutmeg and whisk frequently until thickened. Add Mushrooms, Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes to the Dutch oven. Cook for 1 minute stir in the 6 Cheese Italian Blend and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add pasta to mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the other 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top of the pasta dish and bake until hot and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving with some Garlic Bread.

I'm going to dig in and enjoy now!
Happy Sunday Everyone!

1 comment:

  1. You are not the only one who does that. It is so bad but I just can't help myself! We have an addiction Haley and admitting is the first
    I adore pasta dishes. Plus, the leftovers are always so good for lunch the next day!


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