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Home : Tips & Techniques : Cheesy Creamy Pasta Casserole

Makes 8 Servings
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Cheesy Creamy Pasta Casserole

Contributed by: NAPSA

Tips On Making Big Meals Less Stressful

(NAPSA) - Whether it's an impromptu gathering of family or friends, or a planned special occasion, preparing a big meal can be a stressful experience. But a few simple tips can help you enjoy your next entertaining meal as much as your guests will.

The first step to creating a less stressful meal for large numbers is to shop smartly, says Jenny Harper, director of recipe development for Carnation Evaporated Milk. She advises stocking your pantry with convenient, easy-to-store items that you can turn to in a pinch, like evaporated milk, dried pasta and chicken broth.

Here are some other top tips to create a satisfying meal that you will enjoy as much as everyone else.

  • Choose appropriate recipes for your skill level and your guests. Don't get caught up making an elaborate dish that people may not appreciate.

  • Consider a buffet; it makes serving a lot of people easier and requires less work to set the tables.

  • Don't be afraid to serve ready-made foods for the side dishes, like instant mashed potatoes. Not all your dishes need to be made from scratch.

  • Put friends and family to work for you. Most parties end up in the kitchen anyway, so put those extras hands to good use!
To impress the guests without much stress, here is a recipe you can try at your next meal for a large group. See also Baked Potato Soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) any tube pasta (rigatoni, mostaccioli or penne)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (143/4 oz.) cream-style corn, divided
  • 1 jar (4 oz.) sliced pimientos, drained, divided
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped, divided
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and black pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes just to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat; set aside.

Spread 1/3 of white sauce on the bottom of prepared dish. Top sauce with half of pasta, 1/3 of sauce, half of creamed corn, half of pimientos and half of poblano. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, corn, pimientos and poblano. Top with Chihuahua cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Serving Size: Makes 8 Servings


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