Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
From Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network.
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta water
- 1 lb large elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lb white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces romano cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces asiago cheese, shredded
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
- Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Place macaroni mixture in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
- For variations, add cooked lobster meat, truffle oil, bacon and/or garden fresh vegetables.
As someone used to a low-sodium diet, I was overwhelmed by the salt. Although the 1 tablespoon of pepper fit in, the accompanying tablespoon of salt should be eliminated due to the 1 1/2 pounds of cheese. The béchamel sauce was supposed to take about 10 minutes, but it took me 45 minutes after I raised the heat to medium, then medium-high. The mac 'n cheese needs to rest at least 5 minutes before serving to hold its shape. This is the first time I used panko on mac 'n cheese, and it seemed too blond for an already very light macaroni and cheese, and made me question why I would want to eat so many crumbs. Lastly, unless the entire tray will be consumed at one meal, I think dried parsley would be a better garnish at the very end. This recipe appears on foodnetwork.com attributed to Costa Vanikiotis at Eveready Diner, Hyde Park, NY, and gives the disclaimer that "This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results." Fortunately, I had excellent quality cheese, and that is all I tasted (besides the salt). Made for Please Review My Recipe tag game.