The Mac ‘n Cheese I make is the result of trial and error after reading and cooking many baked macaroni and cheese recipes.
I use four different cheeses – Gruyère, Fontina, Sharp Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano:
The al dente pasta gets tossed with garlic butter, then a cheesy cream sauce, then layered with the four different cheeses, and then topped with a panko & Parmigiano-Reggiano mixture:
In the short 45 minutes it takes the bake, your home will become filled with a comforting smell that you won’t be able to explain with words:
The best part about Mac ‘n Cheese is that it goes well with just about everything.
Make it for your next potluck dinner or just because for your family.
Trust me, they’ll love you for it!
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated fontina cheese
- ½ cup grated gruyère cheese
- 1¾ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup panko
- 9 tablespoons butter
- 8 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups heavy cream (or ½ and ½)
- 1 garlic clove, at least
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 3-quart baking dish, set aside.
- Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine.
- Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the heavy cream (or ½ and ½) little by little. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Add 1 cup grated parmesan and stir until the cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
- Remove from the heat, season with the salt and pepper, then cover and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and macaroni. Cook until the macaroni is very al dente (almost cooked through… it will cook more in the oven).
- Drain and return the macaroni to the pot. Add 1 tablespoons of the butter and minced garlic and stir to combine. (IMPORTANT and worth it!)
- Add the béchamel sauce to the macaroni, stir until well combined.
- In a large bowl combine ½ cup parmesan, ½ cup cheddar, ½ cup fontina and ½ cup gruyère cheese. Toss to combine.
- Place one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.
- In a small bowl combine panko with some grated parmesan. Sprinkle this over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and hot. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.