Kitchen Sense Ultimate Mac & Cheese
From Kitchen Sense
Hands on time: 20 minutes or so
Baking time: 30 minutes
5 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ c unseasoned bread crumbs (I love Panko – they’re extra crispy)
1 c Parmigiano Reggiano or other hard grating cheese, freshly grated
1lb/450 g short curly pasta
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2 c milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch freshly ground pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
8 oz/250g cream cheese, mascarpone or fresh goat cheese
8oz/250g extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 oz/250g extra aged Gouda, Emmentaler or Appenseller, shredded (2 cups)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C and butter a 2quart baking dish. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs plus 2 tbsp Parmigiano, Coat the bottom and sides of the baking dish- shake around to coat the dish evenly. Leave the extra mixture at the bottom. Combine another 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs plus 2 tbsp Parmigiano in a small bowl and set aside for topping.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until almost tender (about 8 minutes). Drain.
Meanwhile make the sauce:
3. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a heavy bottom, large skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a paste/roux. Cook the roux for a minute or two, stirring often until it’s very lightly browned and you can smell the nutty aroma of toasted flour. Switch to a whisk and pour in the milk, continuing to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens without lumps. (about 4 minutes).
4. Turn heat to low and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, pepper and salt. Add the cream cheese and stir until thoroughly melted.
5. Place the drained pasta back into the pot it cooked in. Add the cheddar, gouda and remaining Parmigiano. Pour the hot cream sauce on top. Stir the mixture until the cheese is melted and sauce is well combined with the pasta.
6. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumb/Parmigiano mixture on top and dot with the remaining tbsp of butter.
7. Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the pasta bubbles at the edges and is heated through (about 40 minutes).