2 hrs 40 mins
2 hrs 10 mins
You would expect Chef Achatz’s macaroni and cheese to have some chef tricks, but it doesn’t. He uses a white sauce, elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, just like the rest of us. His personal touch: a tablespoon of paprika (to enhance the color of the sauce) and lots of smoky, crisp bacon bits. We love this recipe, which we tried out on resident's to see if they liked the pasta and cheese sauce. Have tweaked it a bit! F&W Magazine, 12/06 edition, From "Comfort Food from a Rebel Chef."
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 ounces thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups whole milk
- 1 lb elbow macaroni (we used the penne) or 1 lb penne pasta (we used the penne)
- 5 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1Preheat the oven to 350°F
- 2Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.
- 3In a large saucepan, melt the butter.
- 4Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 7 minutes.
- 5With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper toweled plate.
- 6Add the onion and bay leaves to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
- 7Add the paprika, oregano, garlic and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- 8Stir in the flour until blended.
- 9Gradually whisk in the milk until the sauce is smooth.
- 10Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly, and cook until thickened.
- 11Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce gently for 30 minutes, whisking frequently.
- 12Discard the bay leaves.
- 13Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- 14Add the macaroni or penne and boil until pliable but undercooked, about 4 minutes.
- 15Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- 16Stir 4 cups of the cheddar into the hot sauce, add the bacon and season with salt, black pepper(as needed) and a pinch of crushed red pepper(as needed).
- 17Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well.
- 18Spread the mac and cheese in the prepared baking dish and scatter the remaining 1 cup of cheddar on top.
- 19Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
- 20Let stand for 10 minutes before serving with a baby spinach salad w/a vinaigrette dressing, crusty rustic bread and a Brunello di Montalcino from southern Tuscany.
- 21**The assembled mac and cheese can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Browse Our Top Elbow Macaroni Recipes
Nutritional Facts for Grant Achatz's Mac and Cheese
Serving Size: 1 (365 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 792.0
- Calories from Fat 408
- Total Fat 45.3 g
- Saturated Fat 25.1 g
- Cholesterol 123.2 mg
- Sodium 766.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 58.0 g
- Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
- Sugars 11.7 g
- Protein 37.1 g