Baked penne with white cheddar and leeks

This recipe is from Bon Appétit March 2009

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
5 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 5 large)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1 pound extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 cups packed)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound penne pasta

(Note: I also added gouda cheese to add a bit more flavor)

Lightly butter 15x10x2-inch baking dish. Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Cover saucepan and cook until leeks are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes (do not brown). Uncover saucepan; add flour. Stir 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to simmer, stirring often. Add cheese, mustard, and pepper sauce. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Season cheese sauce to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot.

Stir cheese sauce into pasta in pot. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake pasta until cheese sauce is bubbling around edges and some ends of pasta are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let stand 15 minutes. Serve hot.

This was good although a little bland. I think adding more types of cheese would be better. I added gouda but next time might add fontina as well.

The recipe in magazine calls for adding an egg to cheese mixture. I totally removed this step because you don't really need it and the chance of egg curdling from hot cheese sauce is pretty high (read: screwing up the entire dish).

This is husband approved but he said it needed more flavor which I have to agree with him on.

{Serve with}
Steamed veggies on the side

25 min prep. 25 min in oven

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