One of the first dishes I learned to make from scratch was my Grandmotherâ€™s macaroni and cheese. We were very close and itâ€™s always been such a nice memory. It was a fairly standard, old-fashioned recipe and was full of eggs, butter, and cheese aka - truck loads of fat and calories!! In the last few years Iâ€™ve been considering trying to update the recipe. Hubby and I love the multi-cheese options served in nicer steak houses so I thought Iâ€™d look into concocting something similar.
After much research and review of several websites, magazine articles and cookbooks, I put together a recipe that works really well and G loves it! The “cheese guy” at Publix spent about 30 minutes helping me choose flavors. (Yes, it was just as weird as it sounds.)
This isnâ€™t a particularly difficult recipe but itâ€™s not quick, for sure. I try to prep some of the ingredients a day or so ahead to save time putting it together on a school night. I go ahead and boil the noodles, grate the cheeses and pre-measure the dry ingredients (the flour and red pepper can be stored together). Unfortunately, itâ€™s fairly expensive either because of the cheeses. But, the leftover cheese does keep really well for long periods and the leftovers freeze like a dream.
Printable recipe card here!
- 16 oz. Box of Rigate or Penne pasta
- 3 cups Med. Sharp Cheddar Cheese -shredded
- 1 cup Smoked Gouda - shredded
- 1 cup Gruyere - shredded
- ÂĽ tsp. Paprika
- Â˝ cup Butter
- Â˝ cup Flour
- 3 cups Milk
- 1/3- Â˝ cup Panko Breadcrumbs (I prefer seasoned)
- 2 tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated fine)
**Note: The Parmigiano-Reggiano will add all the salty flavor youâ€™ll need. If you choose to use regular Parmesan instead youâ€™ll want to add a pinch of table salt to the topping mix.**
Prepare pasta according to package directions. (Be sure to add salt, to taste, to the water when boiling) Grease bottom of large glass or ceramic dish (9×13) with 1 tbsp butter.
Preheat oven to 350Â°.
Melt butter in a heavy pot oven over low heat. Slowly whisk in flour and red pepper until smooth (about 2 minutes).
Increase heat to medium. Gradually whisk in milk (1 cup at a time). Continue whisking until thickened (approximately 6 minutes). Remove from heat.
Mix together Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere cheeses in a medium bowl. Set aside 1 cup of mixture for topping. Add cheese mixture to sauce mixing until smooth and all cheese is melted. Add in pasta 1 spoonful at a time, tossing to coat.
Spoon mixture into buttered baking dish. Top with reserved cheese mixture.
Mix together breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkle over top. I prefer to use less breadcrumbs as a thicker layer doesnâ€™t get a toasty.
Bake at 350Â° for 40-45 minutes. (If you like the top a little more crunchy turn on the broiler for the last 3-4 minutes.)
Decadent Mac & Cheese can be easily frozen for up to 2 months. (Notes on freezing coming soon!)
Click HERE for printable recipe card!
Linking up over at Wow us Wednesday, Met Monday,