This was sent to me in a William Sonoma magazine and it's a nice variation on an old classic that tends to be a more grown up taste (IMHO) It calls for cavatappi pasta (a fancier elbow looking pasta) but I couldn't find it so just used elbow. Has more steps than most mac-n-cheese I've made but I feel it's worth it and hope you do too.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3/4 stick -plus more for greasing
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups milk
- 1 1⁄4 cups creme fraiche
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fleur de sel, pluse more to taste
- 3 3⁄4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 3⁄4 cups cheddar cheese, shreeded
- white pepper, to taste
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente and cooled in ice water and drained
- 3⁄4 cup breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Butter 3-4 quart square baking dish.
- In 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.
- Stir in flour, cook, stirring, 1 minuted. Add bay leaf.
- Slowly whisk in milk until smooth.
- Simmer, whisking occasionally, 14-16 minutes.
- Discard bay leaf.
- Whisk in creme fraiche and 1 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel; bring to simmer.
- Off heat, stir in 1 1/2 cups each mozzarella and cheedar.
- Season with Fleur de sel and white pepper.
- In large bowl, combine pasta and cheese sauce.
- Stir in 2 cups mozzarella.
- Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and cheddar, then with bread crumbs.
- Bake 30 minutes.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Oh Yummy!!! Made this as written (we had company) and it makes a lot. I had never used creme fraiche and I love it! I followed the instructions completely except for the fleur de sel (didn't have any) so I used kosher salt. Definately a keeper!!!!! Made for Fall PAC 2012. Thank you for posting and the company thanks you too. P.S. next time I might saute a little onion/garlic to mix in for a little more flavor the DH. I thought it was perfect.
We have made this three times, and it's wonderful. I use sea salt instead of fleur de sel, and good fresh heavy cream instead of creme fraiche. Works just fine.