Baked Rigatoni with Béchamel Sauce

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Chef Kathleen has taught at George Brown College Chinese Cusine for 15 years. She is featuring several recipes with us. This time is Baked Rigatoni with Béchamel Sauce!

Baked Rigatoni with Béchamel Sauce
450g dried rigatoni
1 tsp. olive oil
225g. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin strips
100g. Fontina cheese freshly greated
2 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Béchamel Sauce:
75ml. unsalted butter
112g all-purpose flour
100ml warm milk
200ml Carnation cream
110ml warm water
½ tsp. salt and pinch of fresh ground white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg plus more to taste

Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly coat a 13×9-inch glass baking dish with oil. In a medium saucepan, stir béchamel sauce over medium heat until hot (do not allow the sauce to boil). Stir in the prosciutto, ½ cup of fontina cheese. Set the cheese sauce aside.
Boil rigatoni with salted boiling water until aldente. Drain and toss with cheese sauce.
Spoon the pasta mixture into prepared dish, then sprinkle with remaining fontina cheese and dote the top with butter. Bake the pasta until the top is golden brown and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Béchamel Sauce: In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add warm milk, Carnation cream and water whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Simmer over medium heat, whisk constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes (do not allow the béchamel sauce to boil). Remove from heat and stir in ½ tsp. salt and a pinch each of white pepper and nutmeg, season the sauce with more salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. * Sauce can be made up to 3 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate.*

WRITTEN BY: Chef Kathleen

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