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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Baked Cheese and Creamy Corn Ziti

Serve this with a nice romaine salad with vinaigrette and you have a great meal. Your guests will be raving and giggling – corn has a way of bringing out the kid in all of us.
5 cups of corn (fresh or frozen)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1-1/2 cups half and half
8 ounces cream cheese, softened with 2 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups ricotta
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Sea salt and fresh grated pepper to taste
 Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon ground sage
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Sea salt and fresh grated pepper to taste

2 cups Five Italian Cheese, shredded
1 package ziti noodles, cooked per package directions to al-dente

In a large sauté pan, heat butter and sauté garlic and onions till soft. Add corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add cream and bring to a simmer.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes or till cream is reduced halfway. Season with salt, nutmeg, and pepper; set aside to cool.

While the corn is cooling, make the sauce.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Continue to heat the butter, swirling occasionally, until it starts to brown and smell nutty.  Sprinkle the flour on top of the melted butter and whisk.  Continue cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, whisking frequently.  Add the milk gradually, whisking constantly until it is incorporated and the sauce begins to thicken.  Add sage, cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a food processor, purée the corn mixture with ricotta and cream cheese; adjust seasonings. If you like, you can only puree half the corn, leaving some whole kernel; then add kernels to puréed mixture.

Grease a 9 x 12 baking dish. Mix pasta and corn mixture. Place half of mixture in dish; top with half of cheese. Add remainder of pasta/corn mixture; top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.

2 comments:

Chris said...

This would have been perfect on Thursday night when the snows hit! Comfort food that warms from inside out.

Miz Helen said...

This is a great dish Libby, can't wait to taste it. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!
Miz Helen