Macaroni & Cheese

March 29, 2009

Sunday funday — few clothes and definitely comfort food.


1 C pancetta or bacon, roughly chopped, cooked until crisp, and drained well on paper towels

Sea salt
1 lb penne or elbow macaroni

3 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
8 T unsalted butter, divided (6/2)
1/2 C all purpose flour

4 C gruyère, grated
2 C white cheddar, grated
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 C fresh sourdough bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Boil water in large heavy pot, adding salt generously. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan, to only a gentle simmer (do not boil).

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy deep saucepan and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, whisking vigorously until a light yellow roux is formed. While whisking, add the hot milk and cream, and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until smooth and thick enough to coat a spoon. Off the heat, add the gruyère, cheddar, pancetta or bacon, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Add the cooked pasta, stir well, and pour into a baking dish.

In a sauté pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine add the fresh bread crumbs and coat well; sprinkle on top of macaroni and cheese mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni and cheese is browned on top.

Pourboire:  in lieu of pancetta or bacon consider substituting lobster or mushrooms.


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