Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mac-n-Cheese.................For K

One of my co-workers is from London and has expressed to me repeatedly how much she loves mac-n-cheese, I mean loves mac-n-cheese.  Now you may have already guessed that I love food, and therefore also love to talk about food, hence the whole blog thing.  So it wouldn't stretch the imagination that when me and my lovely British co-worker talk, number one, we often talk about food, and two, mac-n-cheese comes up often.  When I mentioned to her that I was doing this whole blog thing she naturally and unsurprisingly asked me to do mac-n-cheese, and well.........I did.  So, this ones for you K.................

Baked Mac-n-Cheese

1lb Fusilli, Cavatappi, or elbow pasta
6 cups whole milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 lb bacon diced
2 cups Comte shredded
3 cups extra sharp white cheddar shredded
2 cups Fontina shredded
1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter melted

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  I a small skillet over medium high heat cook bacon until crispy, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.  Meanwhile, heat a large pot of  water over high heat.  Once the water is at a full salt the water and add pasta, cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.  In a medium saucepan heat milk until just starting to steam.  In another saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk the flour into the butter (this is called a roux), cook roux for about 1 minute.  Add the heated milk to the roux, whisking constantly.  Heat the milk until thickened and steaming, but not boiling.  Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes.  After the milk has slightly cooled, add all the shredded cheeses, and Mascarpone, whisking the cheese sauce until the cheeses are completely melted and the sauce has a smooth consistency.  Drain pasta and add to the cheese sauce (the mixture will look very soupy, don't worry, it will thicken up in the oven).  Add the bacon to the pasta and toss.  In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.  Drizzle melted butter over breadcrumb/cheese mixture and stir until butter is completely incorporated.  Pour the pasta/cheese sauce/bacon mixture into a 9x13 inch glass baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.  Bake mac-n-cheese until the breadcrumbs are browned and the sauce is bubbling, about twenty minutes.
Now hopefully this mac-n-cheese meets all of K's expectations, and yours as well.

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