I think I have to vote for this one as the week’s favorite. I love comfort food and I love mac and cheese. I grew up on Kraft boxed mac and cheese. This is a bit more complicated, but a lot more tasty. If you are feeling a bit of a gourmet itch and have a bit more time in the kitchen for dinner prep, take a shot at this recipe. So worth it!
Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Fontina Cheese
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes for Bechamel Sauce, 10 minutes for pasta and 30 minutes of baking
1 pound macaroni pasta
4 TB butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 ts thyme
2 cups shredded sharp cheese
2 cups shredded smoked fontina cheese
1 ts paprika
4 TB unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
6 TB all purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 ts dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts nutmeg
1. Make your bechamel sauce: Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Add shallot, carrot, and celery to pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and bring it all to a boil. Add thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes in order to thicken the sauce.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it starts to boil add your pasta. Cook according to the packaging.
3. While your pasta cooks heat a medium sauce pan and melt butter with garlic cloves. Add the bread crumbs and thyme and mix.
4. When pasta is cooked, drain and toss with cheeses. Fold in the bechamel sauce, salt, pepper and paprika.
5. Transfer macaroni mixture to a greased baking dish. Cover top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.