Baked mac and cheese

16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese,
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large 3-quart or 4-quart baking dish and set aside. Combine shredded cheeses in a large bowl and set aside. Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions. Remove from heat, drain and place in a large bowl. Drizzle pasta with olive oil and stir to coat pasta. Set aside to cool while preparing cheese sauce.
Melt butter in a deep saucepan, Dutch oven or stock pot. Whisk in flour over medium heat and continue whisking for about one minute, until bubbly and golden. Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream until smooth. Continue whisking until there are bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking and whisking for another two minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper. Add two cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth. Add another two cups of shredded cheese and continue whisking until smooth. Sauce should be thick. Stir in the cooled pasta until combined and pasta is fully coated with the cheese sauce. Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and then the remaining mac and cheese. In a small bowl, combine Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here