cafela: (nutmeg)
[personal profile] cafela
I love mac & cheese, and this recipe has become a favorite with my dad's side of the family. You can use any shape of pasta you want--I prefer gemelli or mini bowtie instead of the traditional macaroni, but that's fine, too.

And yes, nutmeg sounds like a weird ingredient (my mom honestly sounded scared when I made it at her house and asked where she kept the nutmeg), but it's essential in this dish. You only need a dash or two (I wouldn't use more than 1/2 tsp), and it makes a huge difference. Also, feel free to substitute other cheeses, though you will want to keep at least one milder cheese like fontina or mozzerella in the dish.

1 lb of pasta
4 oz fontina (or similar mild) cheese, shredded
4 oz gruyere or parmesan, shredded (not the cheap parmesan that comes pre-grated in a big plastic shaker, the real stuff)
8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
2 tb butter
2 tb flour
1 1/2 milk (or cream if you want)
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
4-6 pieces bacon (you can omit this if you're making it for vegetarians, but it does take the flavor up a notch)
panko breadcrumbs

Cook bacon, let cool, and chop into small pieces. Reserve bacon fat. Make the pasta. While it boils, make a basic bechamel sauce/roux on the stove in a large skillet(melt the butter, whisk in the flour and let brown, heat the milk, whisk in milk slowly). Add the nutmeg, and some salt and pepper, then stir in the cheese until melted. Remove from heat.

Pour your pasta into your casserole/baking dish. Drizzle with reserved bacon fat. Mix in your cheesy bechamel sauce and bacon pieces. Once mixed, top with breadcrumbs. Cook in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes (until the breadcrumbs brown and the mac & cheese is bubbly.

April 2014

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