When a recipe is SO good that it haunts your memory for over 40 years, you know it had to be good! As a young bride, I made this macaroni and cheese dish from a requested recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. Sadly, if I saved the recipe, it was lost along the years of moving. After the Internet, I searched, in vain, for this recipe for years, until I discovered 3/4's of it in a women's magazine. With the help of many Zaar members that helped me find the missing cheese that was needed, I now have the long lost recipe and the ability to make it again and again for an entire new generation of friends and family! This is NOT meant to be an everyday mac & cheese. It's great comfort food when you want to celebrate something special: a good grade, a birthday, or an "I love you!" kinda day. Don't skimp on the cheeses; they will be slightly costly. But, the end result is Oh So Good ! You will not be disappointed in the complex flavours of this simple dish, with a twist.
- 1 lb rotelle pasta (They look like wagon wheels)
- 3⁄4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used an aged 5 year old variety)
- 1⁄2 lb gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup asiago cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
- PLEASE NOTE: This is a BAKED macaroni and cheese, therefore, it will NOT turn out with a lot of extra cheesy sauce asis absorbed into the pasta while baking. If you require an extra saucy mac & cheese, just reduce the amount of pasta you place into the dish or make more sauce so it is creamier. Thanks so much for making this dish; I hope you enjoy it! :).
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 3 quart rectangular baking dish with non-stick spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.
- Toss all the shredded cheeses together in a large bowl, set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth and slightly bubbly.
- In a thin stream, whisk in the milk. Stir in the onion powder, salt, nutmeg, dried mustard and cayenne.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture and stir until smooth. Cover to retain the heat.
- Once water boils, add pasta. Cook until your desired doneness, then drain. In the pasta container, stir together the cooked pasta and cheese sauce.
- Pour half of the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with a generous cup of the reserved cheese. Spoon remaining cheese-covered pasta into the dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Add 1 cup of Japanese Panko Bread crumbs to the top of mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the Panko crumbs are lightly browned and the cheese is bubbly. Cool slightly before serving.
Mac and Cheese is my husband's favorite dish, so for his birthday yesterday I made this scrumptuous casserole. The blend of cheeses was perfect, although the measurements were a little confusing. Some of the cheeses were measured by weight (lb) and others by cup. I found on the Internet that 8 oz. is equal to 2 cups shredded, so that was very helpful. I added two diced tomatoes, increased the cayenne a tad and used slightly less than a cup of Panko. The end result was perfection. Gladly my husband said we'll be eating left overs for a few days. Thanks for the delicious post!
I have reached the pearly gates of my search for the perfect Mac N Cheese and I can't tell you how happy I am to be here!! Oh, the oodles of recipes I have tried that just didn't meet the mark. The combination of cheeses are phenominal, no one cheese overpowers the other and the panko adds the perfect crunchy topping. I am forever grateful to you, Dear Svede!!
This was a HUGE hit with my family -- I made it for a special occasion and it rose to the occasion. I omitted the breadcrumbs and used corkscrew-shaped pasta. Absolutely delicious!