Fancy Mac & Cheese

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Published: April 20, 2019

Comfort food at its finest, this Mac&Cheese is packed with everything from aged cheddar to gorgonzola, lightly spiced and oh so creamy, its perfect on a hold winters day, or a rainy summer afternoon.

To make the sauce, I love to use a rich and robust olive oil, a Picual with lots of green tomato notes, or an herbaceous Manzanillo. These olive oils compliment the cheeses as well as the overall flavour of the dish. Try experimenting with your favourite robust olive oil and find all the unique tasting notes that make the dish just slightly different.

Fancy Mac and Cheese

Creamy, dreamy and so delicious! The blend of cheeses builds a complex sauce of cheesy goodness that may have you eat straight from the pan – we did it and are not ashamed!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 People

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams dried pasta Elbow macaroni, Rigitoni, Cavatappi, Fusilli
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup flour all purpose
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper fresh ground
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups milk 2%
  • 1 1/2 cup old white cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbled
  • 2 cups panko style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until just al dente – still having a light crunch to the inside. Drain and rinse with cold water, then toss with a little olive oil and place pasta back in the pot.
  • In a frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel to drain. Chop the bacon strips into small bits. 
  • In a sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat then add garlic. Sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes, then stir in flour, mixing until smooth and creamy, it will bubble up and that is ok. Add nutmeg, pepper and sea salt. Slowly whisk in the milk, then add the mustard, stirring sauce until smooth and evenly blended. Add in grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses until just combined. 
  • Pour sauce over prepared pasta and toss to evenly coat in the cheese sauce. Stir in bacon bits, goat cheese, and gorgonzola, mixing until combined. Pour pasta into cast iron skillet or large baking dish, spreading evenly. 
  • In a small bowl, stir together remaining olive oil, panko, and dried herbs. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and pour in panko mixture into the pan. Toast in skillet for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly, until panko is golden brown and toasted – remove from heat.
  • Spread panko mixture evenly over mac n cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly hot all the way through. Serve immediately. 
Keyword Cheese, Comfort Food, Mac and Cheese, Pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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