Rotini and Karoun Milk Cheese Casserole

Pasta varieties we are very much familiar with include: spaghetti, lasagna, linguine, fettucine, ziti and macaroni. Least popular is rotini. Rotini comes in a box with tricolor spiral shaped pasta, mostly red, green and white colored. Cook it like you normally would with the other familiar pasta shapes, al dente, meaning cook in a boiling salted water (I add a bit of oil and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning) until barely tender, or cooked but still firm to the bite.

ROTINI AND KAROUN MILK CHEESE CASSEROLE

1 lb box (12 oz) uncooked tricolor rotini, cooked al dente

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cups whole milk (or 1 tall can evap milk plus enough water to make 2 cups)

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 lb package frozen broccoli cuts

1 can mushroom pieces, drained

1 can vienna sausage, drained and sliced

8 oz grated Karoun milk cheese (or medium cheddar cheese), divided

Salt and pepper

Cook rotini following package directions. Drain; set aside.

In a large skillet, saute chopped onion, minced garlic and red pepper flakes in butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook to make a roux. Gradually stir in milk, whipping cream, cream of chicken soup and Dijon mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens.

Add cooked chicken, broccoli cuts, mushroom pieces, sliced vienna sausage and half of grated cheese. Stir until heated through and cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in cooked pasta and mix gently.

Transfer to a large baking dish and bake, covered, in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

I’ll make this delicious casserole again this Thanksgiving day.

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