Sunday, January 3, 2010

1/2/2010 - Simply the Best Mac & Cheese

Last night was just one of those nights.....cold and windy (with some snow flurries), bottle of wine chilling in the fridge, a dear girl-friends racing over for a bit of a bitch/whine /moan session...nothing fits better than rich creamy cheese, bacon and carbs....lots of carbs! A girls other best friend.....This recipe was greatly inspired by a post on, however I have always been a make it and eat it kinda girl when it comes to mac & cheese so the gratin was not attempted (though I am sure it would be delicious). I had a box of Barilla's Campanelle pasta in my cabinet and this some what "fancy" mac and cheese seemed the perfect use.

Unfortunately as you might imagine there is no evidence of the mac and cheese that was made from the "fancy" pasta but I think you all know what mac & cheese looks like (plus I am sure to make it again...soon!)

If you have never made a roux or bechamel sauce check out this video

Mac & Cheese Recipe
5 slices of pancetta - diced (or a handful of the cubes if you can find those)
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 c milk - warmed (I microwave but feel free to dirty another pan if you like)
3 oz brie -rind removed and diced into cubes
3 oz gruyere - diced
3 oz jarlsberg - diced
3 oz chedder - shreded
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
1 tbsp truffle oil

(optional - 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 c breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of paprika)

1) In a large pan cook the pasta according to the directions - if you will be baking it remove slightly before al dente otherwise cook to taste
2) In a medium sauce pan - add the diced pancetta to med heat allow to brown
3) Add the butter and melt
4) Add the flour sprinkling it in the pan to avoid any lumps and mix in completely
5) Allow roux (butter & flour mix) to cook for about 3 min to avoid any "raw flour" taste (however make sure its on low so it doesn't burn! if you see any black specks you need to start over!)
6) Add warm milk in parts slowly - stir to completely combine with each addition
7) Once cream sauce is combined and thick start to add brie - stir after each addition until completely melted
8) Repeat with remaining cheese
9) Season with a bit of red pepper and salt & pepper as necessary (you can use white pepper to avoid black specs in your cheese sauce but I don't ever mind them)
10) Combine cheese sauce with drained pasta
11) optional - pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with butter and bread crumbs bake at 350 until crusted over
12) top each portion with a small drizzle of truffle oil


Anonymous said...

will you please inform me of the next time you make this? It sounds AMAZING!


Dork Chocolate said...

Oh good lord, this sounds amazing. I think we'll try your recipe for our New Year's Eve dinner this year.

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