The Kids Will Love Naomi Watts’ Three-Cheese Pasta Bake


Naomi Watts is an inspiration to us all. The Academy Award-nominated actress and mother of two has three films slated for release in 2014 (St. Vincent De Van NuysWhile We’re Young and Birdman), all of which are comedies, proving once again that the leading lady isn’t afraid to step outside her comfort zone. To top it off, Watts has apparently mastered the art of balancing her career with family life–all while maintaining the physique of a twenty-year-old thanks to frequent spin classes.

It seems not a day goes by that she and hubby Liev Schreiber aren’t spotted strolling hand-in-hand with their angel-faced boys scooting along a few paces ahead. The pair even manages to squeeze in date nights. We find it heartwarming that, after eight years and two very hectic Hollywood schedules to juggle, Watts and Schreiber still take the time out to share adults-only meals.

When they’re not out gallivanting around West Hollywood at dinnertime, the proud parents are doing the same thing as the rest of us: sitting down to a quick, easy, kid-friendly supper. Are you currently struggling to come up with tonight’s menu? Take a tip from Naomi and whip up her simple three-cheese pasta bake for four. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and goes great with a glass of Chianti, Cabernet Franc, or Cabernet Sauvignon, if you want to surprise your partner with some quality one-on-one time after the meal.

Naomi Watts’ Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

375 grams rigatoni (or gluten-free equivalent)
1 small brown onion, sliced thickly
1 bay leaf
2 cups milk
40 grams butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/4 cup coarsely grated romano cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese, extra
3/4 cup coarsely grated romano cheese, extra

1. Preheat oven to moderately slow, 140-160 degrees Celsius fan-forced.
2. Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water, uncovered, until just tender.
3. Meanwhile, place onion, bay leaf and milk in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Strain. Discard solids.
4. Melt butter in same cleaned medium pan, add flour. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually pour in strained milk, stirring over heat until sauce boils and thickens. Stir in cheeses.
5. Combine cheese sauce and drained pasta in an 8-cup ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with extra cheeses.
6. Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until top browns lightly.