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PASTA SOUFFLÉ WITH HAM OR SPINACH AND CHEEESE

Soufflé di pasta

Preparation: medium - difficult
Serves 6

Although this soufflé will puff up slightly, it comes out with a thick golden crust more like a pie. Spinach - 1 pound cooked, drained, and chopped fine-may be used instead of ham.

8 oz packaged fettuccine
about 1 2/3 cups boiling milk
9 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces ounces
4 1/2 oz grated Gruyère cheese
4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb boiled ham, finely chopped , or 1 pound of spinach.
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground white pepper
6 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish.
Bring 3 quarts water and 1 tablespoon coarse salt to a boil in a pasta pot.
Cook the fettuccine in the boiling, salted water for half the required cooking time on the package.
Drain the pasta and put in a large mixing bowl.
Add the milk, butter, cheeses, ham, salt, and pepper.
Mix well, then let the mixture cool completely.
Add egg yolks to the cooled fettuccine mixture, mixing thoroughly.
Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into the fettuccine mixture.
Pour into soufflé dish.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Ten minutes before removing the soufflé from the oven, turn the heat up to 450° F to brown the top, without opening the oven door.

NOTE: This may be prepared in advance up to the point of adding the egg whites. Leave the mixture at room temperature (do not refrigerate, or the butter and cheese will harden). Beat the whites and add them at the last minute. There is little salt, to compensate for the fact that the ham and cheeses are slightly salty.

Source:
Italian Cooking in the Grand Tradition
Jo Bettoja and Anna Maria Cornetto
The Dial Press

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