Over countless trials, I find I like one that is not too saucy and not too dry. But finding that happy medium isn't easy. The cheese is also a problem. Even when you buy the best quality, it can melt in an odd way that isn't smooth and creamy. The recipes that seem most successful at a smooth sauce seem to have Velveeta or American cheese in them and I just do not want to use those products. I want real quality cheese.
|Love Trecce Del 'Orto Pasta|
= = = =Ultimate Mac And Cheese
8 oz Cavatappi, macaroni, or other tube-shaped pasta
1/2 tsp Coarse salt, plus more for cooking pasta
3 1/2 T Butter
1/2 C Finely chopped shallots
2 T All-purpose flour
1 1/4 C Dry white wine
2/3 C Heavy whipping cream
7 oz Gruyère, grated
3 oz Gouda, grated
2 T + 1 tsp. Minced fresh chives
1 T Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp Cayenne
1/8 tsp Freshly ground nutmeg
4 oz Crusty sourdough bread (about 1/4 loaf), torn into large pieces
Preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water until tender to the bite, 7 to 12 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Add shallots and cook until light golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle shallot-butter mixture with flour; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add wine and stir, picking up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add cream and stir well. Sprinkle in cheeses, one large handful at a time, stirring until each handful is mostly melted before adding the next. Stir in 2 tbsp. chives, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. Stir cooked pasta into cheese mixture, then pour all into a 2-qt. baking dish.
In a food processor, pulse bread with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. chives, and 1/4 tsp. salt until coarse bread crumbs form. Sprinkle bread crumbs over pasta and cheese and bake until top is browned and cheese is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.