I am not a big fan of Mac 'n Cheese normally, but once I had some at a catered affair and loved it. I am hoping this is similar. This is adapted from a recipe on another cooking site. The photo shows this recipe made with 3/4 cup cheddar, 3/4 cup Gruyere, and the rest Velveeta. Versatile recipe.
- 16 ounces penne (or any other tubular pasta shape)
- 1⁄4 lb bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups Fontina cheese, grated
- 1⁄2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 3⁄4 cup gruyere cheese, grated
- 3⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- In a large Dutch oven, saute bacon pieces until crisp. Remove and set aside. Saute onion in the bacon drippings until they wilt. Add the butter to pot and whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. Next whisk in the mustard. Gradually add the milk and cream, whisking constantly.
- Season with thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Cook over low heat (simmer) for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Strain out solids (thyme and bay leaf). Immediately add 1 cup of the Fontina, the bleu cheese, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, 1/2 cup of the cheddar, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the reserved bacon, and parsley. Stir until cheese is melted. Add the drained pasta and stir to coat.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Combine the remaining cheeses with the bread crumbs and sprinkle over top.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes until bubbling and lightly browned. Let rest a few moments before serving.
i'll add my 5 stars to this one. I tried to follow the recipe as close as possible, but did need to make a few changes. First, I left out the bacon and used 1% milk to make it slightly healthier ;). I didn't have a bay leaf or fresh thyme, but I did use a sprinkle of dried thyme. Everything else I kept the same. It. Was. Amazing!!! We made it to go with our Christmas ham, and it was the first thing everyone went for for leftovers!
I don't eat bacon and I only had cheddar and cream cheese but I thought I'd use this recipe for inspiration. The thyme and onion is a nock out and even with my inferior ingredients this really came out yummy! Thanks for daring mac and cheese lovers to dream.