Wooden Spoon

Photo credit: Donovan Govan/Wikipedia

The Wooden Spoon: Soy-Scallion Flank Steak
    (Always read the recipe twice, assemble, and prepare your ingredients before you begin to cook)

1 stick unsalted butter

½ cup and 2 tbsp. all purpose flour

1 quart milk

Pinch of nutmeg

Sea salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup grated fontina cheese, divided

½ lb. thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned or thinly sliced

16 oz. box or bag of Rigatoni pasta (any brand)

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Béchamel sauce:

· In a 2 qt. saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat

· Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes

· Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy

· Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes

· Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, ½ cup fontina cheese, the prosciutto, and season with the salt and pepper

· Set aside

      Pasta:

· In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water

· Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard

· Grease a 13×9 inch baking dish/pan either with butter or cooking spray

· Drain the pasta in a colander and return the pasta to the pot and pour in the béchamel sauce

· Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

· Carefully, pour the pasta and cream sauce mixture into the greased 13×9 inch baking dish

· Smooth out the top with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup fontina cheese

· Dot the top with the diced butter

· Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown.

· Serves 6 to 8 people

· Suggestion: Serve with a salad and garlic bread

        Notes:
      • tsp. means a teaspoon and tbsp. means tablespoon – always use a measuring spoon not a piece of silverware
      • Prosciutto is an Italian cured ham that can be purchased at a deli counter. It does come prepackaged in supermarkets and I’m sure it’s fine, but if at all possible, have it freshly sliced. Price around as it is expensive, and I found that BJ’s Wholesale Club’s deli counter has the best price in the area.

If you’d like to be a guest contributor to The Jefferson Chronicle’s Wooden Spoon, please email your recipe clearly noting all ingredients, measurements, and understandable directions to carol.punturieri@thejeffersonchronicle.com and type “The Wooden Spoon” in the Subject line. Be sure to include your name, address, and a telephone number in the event we need to clarify any information.

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