Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baked Three Cheese Mac & Cheese

Comforting and delicious, this Baked Three Cheese Mac & Cheese is full of sharp cheddar, muenster, and asiago cheeses!

Unassuming and simple looking, this mac and cheese is full of flavor. Thanks to the sharp cheddar, muenster, and asiago, this mac and cheese is unlike any other. Of course, you can use whatever cheeses you want; you'll need a total of 1 pound of cheese.

You'll start the sauce by making a simple roux. Just equal parts butter and flour that you'll mix milk into. Next, the egg which adds richness and acts as a binding agent for the mac and cheese. The sauce is really simple and comes together quickly. The most important thing to remember is to season it well.

Baked Three Cheese Mac & Cheese
  • 1 lb macaroni or cavatappi/cellentani pasta
  • 3 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded muenster cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup panko 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400 F and lightly grease the baking dish(es).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost al dente (just a little under). After cooked, drain and set aside.

Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer to warm up. Turn off heat.

While pasta is cooking, add the butter to a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in warmed milk and whisk until smooth. Add the egg to a small bowl and quickly whisk in about 1/3 cup (about a ladle full) of the sauce. Pour and whisk the egg mixture into the sauce and cook until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in the (almost) cooked pasta and pour into the prepared baking dish(es). 

For the topping, melt the butter in a small skillet. Turn off heat and stir in panko. 

Top pasta with the buttered panko and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned and crispy.

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