It started out just fine, but I doubled the sauce to make it creamier. In the original recipe, Parmesan and mozzarella makes up the sauce and more is added to the topping. That’s fine, except not cheesy enough for me as it did not not have that big of a burst of cheese flavor I desired. To add to the sauce, I used provolone to give an added depth of Italian flavor. An American muenster would go in a different direction and I think would be especially flavorful as would any semi-soft cheese with melting qualities. Now to add the gild, I added another two types of cheese after assembly of the casserole: Taleggio and a mild blue cheese, Saga Blue. Taleggio cheese is a creamy Italian cheese that many folks add to a cheese tray at parties as it pairs well with fruit and crackers alike. But it is also very flavorful in casseroles. Italian Gorgonzola dolce cheese I find to be milder than many others and creamier too than say blue cheese or a Roquefort. I think I would like to try the milder one next time around as the Saga blue overpowered, but I also used 2 ounces. If you really love the taste of blue, leave it alone. The two additions were cut into small pieces and randomly place on top of the casserole. I later decided to nestle these deep into the saucy chicken and broccoli laced pasta thus hidden away. What I like about this method is that in varying bites, I experienced various cheese flavors. Bet you could come up with your own favorite cheese medley.
Here’s the results of my madness. Enjoy!
3 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or canned low-sodium)
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Provolone cheese, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh ground black peppercorns to taste
8 oz penne rigate (I prefer the mini penne, Piccolini)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets, slightly steamed (or frozen, slightly cooked)
2 cups roasted chicken, skinned & boned, torn into large bite size pieces
1/2 cup Taleggio cheese’ cut into chards (Fontina, Gouda or a good white cheddar)
1 to 2 oz Saga blue cheese, crumbled (a young Gorgonzola or a Brie would be great too)
Bake for about 25 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble and topping is nice and brown. Run under a boiler if needed.