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Baked Goat Cheese Orzo

This creamy side dish, from Chef Bryan Voltaggio, makes an excellent accompaniment to his Beef Porterhouse a La Plancha (see related recipe at left). If you can’t find goat’s milk, substitute cow’s milk.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter for greasing, plus 8 Tbs. (1 stick) butter 
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups cow’s milk 
  • 2 cups goat’s milk (cow’s milk may be substituted) 
  • 1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese 
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt 
  • 1 lb. orzo or ditalini pasta, cooked in salted water until al dente, drained 
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) 
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley  

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square casserole dish.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 8 Tbs. butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the 2 cups cow’s milk and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the 2 cups goat’s milk (or 2 more cups cow’s milk) and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Whisk in the cheese, nutmeg and salt. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl.

Add the pasta to the sauce and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the panko on top. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the panko is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe by Chef Bryan Voltaggio.