• 11.21.11 // A little suggestion for your Thanksgiving buffet…

Not Your Momma’s Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

Comfort food for the adult who still loves mac & cheese, this sophisticated macaroni is baked in a stone hearth oven with pancetta, white wine, and three cheeses. A rich, delicious spin on a childhood favorite.

 

Ingredients

Noodles

  • 2 pts. water
  • 4 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 cups large elbow macaroni

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup pancetta, diced
  • 3⁄4 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 ea. bay leaves
  • 1⁄2 tsp. chili pepper flakes
  • 1⁄2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1⁄2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⁄8 cup parsley, chopped

 

Method

Oven Temperature: 570-600 degrees

  1. In a medium pot, bring the salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al denté, about 5 minutes. Strain the noodles and set them aside to cool.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan. Place the pan in the searing/sauté zone until the oil is hot. Add the pancetta and cook until the pancetta has color and is a bit crispy. Add the onions, bay leaves, chili pepper flakes, and wine, and sauté until the onions are softened and the wine is reduced by half.
  3. Add the milk and return the pan to the searing/sauté zone. Bring to a slow boil. Lightly coat the shredded cheese with flour. Slowly add the cheese mixture to the milk mixture, stirring until completely melted.
  4. Combine the macaroni and cheese mixture in a large cazuela or similar oven-safe baking pan. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, butter, and parsley. Top the macaroni with the bread crumb mixture.
  5. Bake in the raw landing zone until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are nicely browned. If the bread crumbs become too dark, put foil over the top of the dish. Remove from the oven and serve

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