Pretty Dishes

Amazing Mac-and-Cheese
March 19, 2010, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Recipes

I have made quite a few recipes from the exceptional Newlywed Kitchen, and this macaroni is definitely a favorite. Lorna Yee always puts together glorious recipes; I visit her site for outstanding dishes on a regular basis.

How can you go wrong with four cheeses? My only revision to the recipe is in place of bacon I prefer lightly sautéed prosciutto. It’s fantastic. I like this macaroni best using mini penne pasta, but you have so many noodle options here.

While editing the photos I have to say I wish I had selected a different napkin to place beneath the plate. I’m not in love with the pastel paleness of the shots. But I am in love with this recipe!

Lorna Yee’s Award-Winning Four-Cheese Mac-and-Cheese

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 strips bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces [I made it with 6 slices of prosciutto, chopped]
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup (about 1 medium) finely chopped sweet yellow onion
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound fresh, whole-milk mozzarella, cubed
1/4 pound blue cheese (such as Stilton or Roquefort), crumbled
1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/4 pound Gruyère, grated
Kosher salt
1/2 pound pasta, cooked, drained, and kept hot
1/2 cup panko (or substitute regular bread crumbs)
Chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet, then add the onions and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Stir in the flour and the wine, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half, marjoram, thyme, red pepper flakes, pepper, mozzarella, blue cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Gruyère. Stir until the cheeses melt into the cream sauce and the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Taste the sauce and if necessary, season with the salt. Add the cooked pasta, mixing thoroughly to coat with the sauce.

In a small skillet, toast the panko with the remaining butter until it is golden brown and crisp. Season with a tiny pinch of pepper and salt, if desired.

Spoon the pasta into big bowls and top with a generous amount of panko and a
sprinkle of bacon. Garnish with a few snipped chives, if desired.


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