Adult Mac and Cheese
Creamy, dreamy and the BEST mac n cheese ever! 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!
- 1 b Dried small pasta (Tortiglioni, Elbow, Penne – your favorite!)
- 5 slices Pancetta or thick cut bacon Thick slices, chopped
- ¼ cup Flour
- ¼ cup Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp Cognac Mustard
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp Amola Garlic and Rosemary Salt divided
- 3 cups Milk
- ½ cup Chicken stock
- 1½ cup Aged white cheddar cheese divided
- 1 cup Mozzarella grated
- ¼ cup Gorgonzola crumbled
- ¼ cup Goat cheese crumbled
- 5 sprigs Fresh thyme divided
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375*F and oil a cast iron skillet with 1 tbsp Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, then set aside. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until just al dente – still having some bite, but not gummy. Drain and set aside. Chop ⅓ of the white cheddar cheese into ½” cubes, then grate remaining cheddar cheese.
- In a deep non-stick pan, heat ¼ cup Tuscan Herb Olive Oil over medium heat then add garlic. Saute garlic for 2-3 minutes, then whisk in flour, stirring till smooth and creamy. Add nutmeg, fleur de sel, pepper and mustard, then whisk in milk and chicken stock, stirring sauce until smooth and evenly blended. Keep warm on low.
- In a non-stick pan, cook bacon or pancetta over medium heat until crisp, then remove to paper towels to drain. Stir into cheese sauce, then pour warm sauce into a large bowl and begin stirring in grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses until melted and smooth. Stir in cooked pasta, leaves of thyme from 4 sprigs of thyme, goat cheese, and gorgonzola, mixing until well combined. Pour mac n cheese into cast iron skillet, spread evenly.
- In a small bowl, stir together last tbsp of Tuscan Herb olive oil, panko, fleur de sel, pepper and thyme leaves from remaining sprig of thyme. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and pour in panko mixture into the pan. Toast in skillet for 5-6 minutes, until panko is golden brown and toasted - remove from heat.
- Pour panko mixture onto mac n cheese, spreading evenly across the top. Bake mac n cheese for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy!
This recipe easily serves 2-3 as a main course paired with a green salad (balance is everything in life!) but doubling this will serve a crowd easily - just bake the dish in a 9x13" pan and the people will come - be ready!