My Guilty Pleasure


  • 1 16 oz package penne pasta
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 6 T butter
  • 1/2 t Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 t thyme
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 3 C milk
  • 10 oz cheddar cheese
  • 10 oz Gruyere cheese
  • 6 oz Velveeta
  • 1 oz blue cheese
  • salt and pepper from the mill to taste


  1. In a large saucepan of salty water, cook the pasta for 1/2 time on the package, drain and set aside
  2. Cut the ends off the bread and slice
  3. Process bread in a food processor until it’s chopped, a few pulses is enough
  4. Melt 3 T butter in a skillet
  5. Add the bread crumbs, stir to combine and set aside
  6. Melt the remaining butter in a Dutch Oven, add shallots and saute for a few minutes until they soften
  7. Add paprika, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne and flour, cook another couple of minutes until mixture thickens a bit
  8. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly
  9. Let cook for 8 – 10 minutes, whisking frequently over low heat until mixture thickens slightly
  10. Process all of the cheese except for 2 oz of the Gruyere and add to the milk mixture, stirring constantly until it all melts
  11. Remove the bay leaf
  12. Mix the pasta into the sauce
  13. Turn the whole thing into a casserole dish, salt and pepper to taste
  14. Grate the remaining Gruyere and sprinkle on the top with the bread crumbs
  15. Bake about 30 minutes or until the bread crumbs start to brown and the pasta is cooked through
  16. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving so it can set up