I don’t make pasta often, but sometimes there comes a night that just calls out for a big plate of cheesy, carb filled goodness. After seeing this delicious dish from Smitten Kitchen, I was inspired to do a pasta dish with a nice crunchy pangratto & gooey egg, but I was craving a yummy Mornay sauce for it.  What is Mornay sauce? A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added in. Usually, it consists of half Gruyère and half Parmesan cheese, though some variations use different combinations of Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar.  Béchamel sauce is known as white sauce, is made from a roux (butter and flour) and milk. It is one of the mother sauces of French and Italian cuisine. Here I used a mixed cheese of mozzarella, provolone, romano, asiago, and Parmesan for an interesting take on the standard.

{Also, if you guys have enjoyed reading this blog, I would be honored if you felt inspired to nominate the Sweet Tea Sweetie for the Saveur Blog Awards.}

Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato | www.sweetteasweetie.com

Ingredients:Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato | www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • 1 box of pasta
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • Dried red pepper flakes
  • Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of flour

For the pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. (The bigger the better! I spent far too many years trying to cook things in boiled water in too small of a pot. My stove top thanks me for far less “boil overs” now that I use a humungous pot!)
  2. Be sure to salt the water.
  3. Add in pasta.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes shorter than the directions on the box. For me this meant 9 minutes, but that will depend on what type of pasta you use. Whole wheat pasta is so good for you, but does take longer. It is important to drain as soon as it is done so that it doesn’t keep cooking.
  5. Set aside.

For the chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place 4 chicken breasts in an oven safe pan.
  3. Generously coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook at 450 for 20 minutes.
  5. Cut into bite size chunks.

Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato | www.sweetteasweetie.comFor the Pangrattato:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and let sizzle for one minute.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Add panko, salt, pepper, basil, and red peppers.
  5. Cook mixture on low until golden then immediately remove from heat and set aside.

For the peas:

  1. Bring water in a small saucepan to a boil.
  2. Add 1 cup of frozen peas.
  3. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until soft.
  4. Drain and set aside.

Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato | www.sweetteasweetie.comFor the Mornay Sauce:

  1. Stir continuously while adding in each of the ingredients.
  2. Melt 8 tablespoons in a medium sized saucepan.
  3. Add in 2 tablespoons of flour.
  4. Add in 1/2 cup cream (to be truthful, I used low fat milk instead of cream to save calories and it worked out well).
  5. Add in 2 large handfuls (or a heaping cup) of grated cheese.
  6. Salt and pepper generously.
  7. Add in more milk or cheese if needed to reach your desired texture.
  8. Keep warm until needed.

For the eggs:

  1. Put a tablespoon of olive oil (or a nice big splash) in a frypan. (It’s okay to use the same one that you used for the panko.)
  2. When the oil is hot, crack the eggs into it. Tilt the oil around so that it covers the eggs.
  3. Salt and pepper them.
  4. Cook eggs for 1 to 2 minutes or until brown and crispy on the bottom.
  5. CAREFULLY, flip it over and cook it for another 30 seconds. Be sure not to break the yolk or overcook it. You want to be sure that you keep that yummy yolk safe for the pasta!

Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato | www.sweetteasweetie.comTo assemble:

  1. Drain pasta well.
  2. Pour pasta back into large pot. Be sure it is not over heat, you don’t want it to keep cooking.
  3. Add chopped up chicken to pasta stir to combine.
  4. Pour sauce over top of the chicken and pasta. Stir until all is well coated.
  5. Add in the peas & stir lightly so that you don’t smush the peas.
  6. Serve onto plates.
  7. Generously sprinkle the panko mixture on top.
  8. Gently place the egg on the pasta. Be careful not to break the yolk until you are ready to dig in!

Pasta with Mornay Sauce and Pangrattato | www.sweetteasweetie.com

 To work off all of this delicious pasta, we went for a hike in the gorgeous Marin Headlands which are directly across the bridge from San Francisco. I love the Golden Gate Bridge. It is such a stunning feat of architecture and a huge part of our history. It is beautiful from San Francisco, but honestly the best view of it is from the Marin Headlands. You get the amazing view of the bridge AND the unbelievable view of the San Francisco skyline.

Marin Headlands, San Francisco, CA | www.sweetteasweetie.com IMG_9368 Marin Headlands, San Francisco, CA | www.sweetteasweetie.com IMG_9411The beauty in our area never ceases to render me breathless. What are your favorite hiking spots?

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