A quick pasta dish you can throw together with two Swiss cheeses—or my suggested substitutions, if you can’t get the real thing!
My kids love pasta (not surprising, I know). Frankly, one of their favorites—like many American kids—is macaroni from a box with powdered cheese (I’m not sure my Swiss friends would understand such a thing!). So, when I saw a penne with 2-cheese recipe from Swissmilk, I thought it might be a good mac ‘n cheese alternative.
I have adapted this recipe (a little less wine and the addition of frozen peas). It calls for two types of cheese: fromage frais with herbs and Sbrinz. In Switzerland, you can find fromage frais quite easily in small and large markets. In the US, however, if you can’t find fromage frais, a soft goat cheese with herbs can be a good substitute. Sbrinz, on the other hand, is a Swiss cheese with a special designation, and may not be as easy to find outside of Switzerland. As such, you can use parmesan cheese as a substitute.
Two-Cheese Penne with Peas and Leeks
Recipe adapted from SwissMilk.
Contains: milk, wheat
about 1 leek (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
50 ml (about 1/4 cup) white wine or vegetable broth
250 ml (about 1 cup) vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fromage frais (or goat cheese) with herbs
salt and pepper, to taste
500 grams (about 1 lb.) penne
fresh basil, finely chopped
Sbrinz cheese (or parmesan cheese), grated
1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the chopped leeks. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks begin to soften and start to break apart.
2. Add the tablespoon of flour to the leeks and stir for about one minute until the leeks are evenly coated.
3. Add the white wine, vegetable broth and peas to the leek mixture. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the peas are cooked. While this simmers, cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water, following the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan.
4. Take the leek and broth mixture off the heat and stir in the fromage frais until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add the sauce to the hot pasta and stir until well-combined. Serve immediately topped with grated Sbrinz (or parmesan) and finely chopped basil.
If you have any favorite recipes using Sbrinz cheese, please let me know! Leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks!