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Three-Cheese Whole-Wheat Pasta-Pearls Casserole

Three-Cheese Whole-Wheat Pasta-Pearls Casserole


1½ cups water
8 oz. whole wheat Israeli couscous

2 cups 2% milk
1½ oz. sweet onion studded with cloves, cut into chunks
Pinch nutmeg
2 Tbsps. butter
2 Tbsps. flour
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white onion, small-dice
3 oz. cream cheese
¼ c. shredded Parmesan
¾ c. shredded mild cheddar

Garlic salt, to taste
½ cup plain corn flakes
Pan spray, as needed

1. For the couscous: In a stock pot, bring the water to a boil. Add couscous to the water and slow boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain the Israeli couscous and reserve.

2. For the sauce: Heat the milk in a sauce pot with the clove-studded onion and a pinch of nutmeg. Bring to a simmer. (Do not scorch.) Remove and reserve.

3. In a separate sauce pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat to create a roux. Add reserved hot milk and clove-studded onion to the roux and let simmer for 4 minutes to create a béchamel. Remove the onion chunks and discard with any cloves. Season the béchamel with salt. Remove the pan from heat and reserve warm.

4. In a separate pot over medium heat, add olive oil and diced white onion. Sweat until the onion is translucent.

5. Add the warm béchamel and cream cheese. Let melt and cream together.

6. When incorporated, add all but 1 Tbsp. each of the Parmesan and cheddar and let melt to create a creamy sauce.

7. To assemble: Add the cooked couscous to the bechamel and mix well. Season to taste with garlic salt.

8. Toast off corn flakes at 400°F for 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve.

9. Grease 8 ramekins with pan spray. Place 4 oz. of couscous/cheese mixture into each ramekin. Top each with reserved Parmesan, cheddar and toasted corn flakes, then bake at 400°F just until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Photo and recipe: Indian Harvest, Inc.

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