As cheesy as it sounds, no plate of pasta is complete without a drizzle of the perfect sauce. And for most of us, it’s the zing of the cheddar that counts.
So, if you’re wondering how to make a cheese sauce for pasta then this article is just for you. Get ready to make the best cheesy pasta sauce that’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser.
From kids to adults, everyone will be head over heels for this dish. And you will just be counting the compliments. For minimal effort and maximum output, there’s no better way to go than the steps I’ve listed down below.
Let’s get to it.
The Right Pasta for the Right Sauce
Contrary to popular belief, penneé and spaghetti isn’t the only pasta variations out there. Ask your Italian friends, and they’ll tell you well over a hundred names easily. That’s because pasta comes in many different shapes and sizes.
With almost 500 different types of pasta out there, it might be daunting to choose just one. To make sure the sauce you made compliments the pasta perfectly, here are a few tips.
If the sauce is creamy and thick like a cheddar glaze, then the sturdy noodles will be ideal. Shellbows, Spirali, Penne Ziti, and Cavatappi are my personal favorites in that case. As long as the pasta shape has curves and hollows, you’ll get to scoop it up with ample amounts of sauce easily.
In case you’re going for a meatier route and planning to make a hearty Bolognese, then meat sauces are a staple. And pastas like Rigatoni, Tortiglioni and Fusilli go best with Bolognese.
But no worries if you can’t get your hands on those specifically. Any traditional pasta with a tube shape will be good enough to pull this off.
For the classic Roman pasta i.e., Carbonara, you might want to mix things up. Grab a bag of freshly made spaghetti and some Gemelli or Orecchiette. Both long and short kinds of pasta go well with this dish.
I’ve walked you through the pasta fiesta, but what about the cheese collections? Well, depending on how you plan on using the sauce, there’s a vast array of options you can choose from.
For ham dishes, swiss cheese is a fan favorite. But for pasta, parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella are splendid. If you’re making some nachos on the side, consider having a spiced cheese sauce or something with Monterey jack.
The creamiest sauces are made with cheddar because they melt like no other cheese type. They also have the perfect flavor that compliments both oriental and Asian palates.
How to Make a Cheese Sauce for Pasta?
Now that you know your pasta, it’s time to get cooking. And as the wise always say, planning is half the work done. That’s why you need to gather the ingredients first. Nothing beats a clean counter and a solid action plan to make the best dish ever.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons of butter (unsweetened and unsalted)
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 ½ cup of milk.
- 1 ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ⅛ or a pinch of white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
- A pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika (optional)
While these are the base ingredients, you can definitely play around with them to suit your own taste buds. Since I’m a lover of spicy foods, I tend to add in a few more spices here and there.
Preparing this delicious sauce takes no more than 10 minutes when every ingredient is on hand. You can use these step-by-step instructions as a guide to get things done:
- Melt the butter in the saucepan. Be careful not to burn it.
- Then add flour to the melted butter and cook for 2 minutes.
- Take your whisk and add some milk in small parts. Keep whisking after each pour.
- Bring some onion powder and white pepper into the mix. This is also a great time to add additional spices.
- Continue to cook this over medium heat and wait till it thickens.
- Wait for a minute for it to bubble.
- Once you’re happy with the consistency, remove it from the heat.
- It’s time to add cheese and stir until it’s nicely melted and smooth.
When it comes to the art of sauce making, the roux is the heart of it all. The thickened mix of butter and flour that you make initially is the roux.
And if you’re not careful while making this, the dish will be thrown off balance. Make sure to stir constantly when making the roux and adding liquids to it. Any lumps that form during this time will end up thickening in the worst ways later.
Also, remember to not be too hasty with this step. It’s easy to get scared and just undercook the flour. But cooking the flour properly is important for getting rid of any starchy flavor.
Nothing wins hearts like a bowl of good homemade pasta. Whether you’re trying to impress guests or preparing a treat for kids on the weekend, a cheesy dish is a sure crowd-pleaser.
And now that you know how to make a cheese sauce for pasta, go on and cook up a storm. Be the MasterChef of your own home.