- 1 Pound lian fusilli or trottole pasta, cooked al dente, drained and kept warm
- 1 Pound crabmeat (2 lbs. Alaska King, Snow or Dungeness crab legs)
- 2 Cups bite-sized pieces of fresh asparagus (about 9 oz.)
- 1/2 Cup butter
- 1/2 Cup flour
- 1 Teaspoon salt, substitute garlic salt or onion salt, if desired
- 1/2 Teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 Cups non-fat or 1% milk, warmed
- 1 Cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 1 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 Cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 to 3/4 Cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 400oF.
In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the salt, pepper and warm milk. Cook and whisk until sauce has thickened and is smooth. Turn heat to lowest setting; stir in cheeses. Turn off heat; continue stirring until sauce is smooth. Gently blend in the pasta, crabmeat and asparagus. Turn mixture into a spray coated 9x13-inch pan or 8 (1-1/2 cup) baking dishes.
Blend together breadcrumbs, smoked paprika and thyme; sprinkle evenly over pasta. Bake 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and topping is browned.