Mac n’ Cheese

What’s better than hot, cheesy mac n’ cheese with a nice crunch on top? Try this recipe and know it’s just as delicious leftover!! It’s up to you what cheeses to use- there are so many options! In my experience, Trader Joe’s has a huge selection for the best prices.

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Photo Courtesy of Snap Photography

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2lbs Cavatappi (make sure you pick a noodle that can hold the cheesy sauce)
  • Milk
  • Stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups) I used two different kinds of gruyere
  • 8 ounces white Cheddar, grated
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pancetta chopped up real tiny, sauteed in olive oil with garlic clove (to be removed later)
  • Bread crumbs (I use half panko and half italian bread crumbs. The panko is great for the crunch)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Truffle oil to top it off!
This made 7 ramekins. If you aren’t as lax with your ingredient amounts as I am, check out Ina Garten’s recipe which I modified: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mac-and-cheese-recipe2/index.html

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Put on a pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook just short of al dente. I don’t like mushy pasta and remember it will keep cooking after you take it out of the water and put it in the oven.

3. Saute pancetta in olive oil until crispy (not burnt) and set aside. Save the olive oil to wet bread crumbs with later.

4. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, some parmesan and salt & pepper. Add the pasta and stir well. Pour into a casserole dish or the ramekins seen above.

5. Chop fresh parsley and mix together with the breadcrumbs. Pour in the pancetta and olive oil. Combine and sprinkle on top of the mac and cheese. You can always add some melted butter for extra flavor! Instead, I topped it with truffle oil for a luxurious twist. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

ENJOY!!

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