Monday, June 20, 2011

Artisanal Mac and Cheese

This was the dish alongside Cheeseburger Meatloaf for last night's Father's Day spectacular. I picked it up from Saveur magazine; they got it from the chef at the Manhattan restaurant Artisanal. It's decadent and delicious. (Warning: it's not cheap...the cheese will set you back $20 or so. But it's worth it.)

Artisanal Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 6-8 servings.

Kosher salt, to taste
12 ounces hollow pasta, preferably penne
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3⁄4 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably panko
1 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
1⁄4 cup flour
3 1⁄2 cups milk
4 ounces grated Gruyère (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
4 ounces grated Comté or Cantal (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
4 ounces grated fontina (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 350°. Bring a 4-quart saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the bread crumbs and Parmesan, toss to combine, and transfer to a small bowl; set aside.

Wipe out the saucepan and set over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the Gruyère, 1 cup of the Comté, and 1 cup of the fontina and whisk until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the reserved pasta. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and top with the remaining Comté and fontina. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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