June Recipe: Beer Cheese Cavatappi
It's June, and here in Winchester, KY that means one thing: BEER CHEESE. For the past 15 years or so, we have celebrated being the birthplace of Beer Cheese by hosting the one and only Beer Cheese Festival in our downtown. This is a wonderful festival that draws in 20,000 people (that's more than our population!) to try some of the best beer cheese that the state has to offer. You can buy tickets to try & vote for your favorite! Local restaurants all have specials devoted to the delicious orange dip as well, and we might have something up our sleeve as well....
We will be one of many booths at the festival, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to check out everything. Nothing would be more perfect for this month's recipe than something with beer cheese in it, and Christina has come up with a delicious surprising way to use beer cheese. You won't want to skip trying this month's recipe!
Beer Cheese Cavatappi
w/Pork Bratwurst and Scallions
Christina Williams, West & Taylor
Total Time: 20-40 minutes || Feeds: Approx 4 (as a side)
- 1 cup of your Favorite Beer Cheese
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 8 oz Pasta, Cook
- 1 Tbls Butter
- 1 Tbls Flour
- 1 cup reserved pasta water, salted
- 2-4 diced green onions
- 4 oz Diced Pork Bratwurst
- 1 Tbls Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- Up to ¼ cup breadcrumbs and parmesan combined
- Salt and pepper, to taste (start with 1 tsp each and go from there)
- Prepare your pasta of choice in heavily salted water and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Saute your bratwursts in a saute pan until browned and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine your beer cheese, heavy cream, garlic powder, onion powder, salt/pepper and nutmeg until it is a smooth liquid texture.
- Over medium heat, in a saute pan melt the butter and add the flour to form a roux (feel free to add a little more if you like a thicker cheese sauce). Once your roux is formed, add your cheese and cream mixture to thicken. Here, feel free to add more cream or cheese if the sauce is thicker than what you like; but don’t worry over it too much. You can always thin it down a bit with some pasta water.
- Reserve at least one cup of the pasta water and then drain your pasta.
- Add the pasta, bratwurst and green onions to the saute pan with the cheese sauce and combine. Drizzle in some of the pasta water to help both season and coat your pasta.
- In an oiled 8x8 (or a round cake pan) pan, pour the pasta and cheese mixture in and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven until the breadcrumbs and parm have become golden in color.
- For a twist substitute green onions for leeks and add ½ cup of shredded white cheddar.
- This is my personal favorite way to make it!
- If you like heat, use spicy beer cheese and/or add 1 Tbls of hot sauce to your cheese sauce.
- I’ve also made this with a handful of chopped spinach in the mixture with excellent results!
- Feel free to double the recipe and use a 9x13 casserole dish to bake.