Sometimes it’s perfectly okay to rock boxed macaroni and cheese (especially if it’s Annie’s Shells and White Cheddar with peas and lots of black pepper). Sometimes you’ve got extra time on your hands and decide that now is a good time to buy 3 different kinds of cheese and create a macaroni and cheese masterpiece. Such was the case this weekend- also known as the day I ate entirely too much. I thought I should share this with everyone, because, sometimes you just need ultimate comfort food.
Artisanal Macaroni and Cheese- adapted from Saveur.
- 12 oz penne pasta
- 6 tbs unsalted butter
- 3/4 c dried bread crumbs- preferably panko
- 1 oz finely grated Parmesan
- 1/4 c flour
- 3 1/2 c milk
- 4 oz grated Gruyère
- 4 oz grated Gouda
- 4 oz grated Fontina
Heat oven to 350. Bring a 4 quart saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente. Drain pasta and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
Melt 3 tbs of butter in the same saucepan. Add breadcrumbs and Parmesan, toss to combine and set aside in a small bowl. Wipe out saucepan and set over medium heat. Melt remaining 3 tbs of butter in saucepan and whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and cook, continuing to whisk often until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the Gruyère, Gouda Fontina and whisk until the cheese is melted. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and stir in the reserved pasta. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbly- about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving- otherwise everyone will end up with scalded mouths from trying to devour such deliciousness.