- 1 pound whole grain penne
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 13.5-ounce wheel of brie, rind removed, cut into chunks
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- ⅓ cup white or whole-wheat panko crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook penne ⅔ of the way through, and then drain. My pasta said cook 9 to 10 minutes; I cooked it 6 to 7.
2. In a wide braising pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes, until the mixture foams and just begins to turn golden. Whisk in the cold milk in a steady stream. Increase the heat to medium-high, and continue whisking the sauce for 5 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough that if you dip a spoon in the béchamel and run your finger down the back of the spoon, the sauce stays separated.
3. Add in the brie, and lower the heat to low. When the brie has melted, add in nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in the penne until well combined.
4. Pour the mixture into a buttered square baking dish. Top with panko and a few dots of butter. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and cook 30 minutes, until bubbling. Then, place under the broiler until the panko is golden, another 3 to 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot.
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