Thursday, June 29, 2006

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

After a long, hard night in my "Intro to Culinary Arts" class which involved fabricating a chicken (meaning, cut open a not-so-great smelling fresh chicken), a meat-free, soothing late night dish was so right to cure hunger and calm my upset stomach.

This is seriously as comforting as the day-glo orange stuff we ate as kids, only for more creamy and delicious.

"Mac" & Cheese:
(makes 6-8 servings)
1 lb penne or other shaped pasta
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
2-3 cups milk
White pepper
Garlic powder
Salt to taste
10 oz white cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbs mascarpone cheese
2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
1 tbs fresh or dried chopped parsley

Boil pasta in well-salted boiling water, 8-10 minutes or until firm - better to leave some good bite in the pasta than cook it mushy. Turn broiler on.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan, then add flour and mix and cook until the color of peanut butter for a good roux. Add milk slowly as needed, whisk over a simmering heat until it thickens.

Drain pasta, remove from heat and pour into the caserole dish you will be using for the mac & cheese.

Once cream sauce has begun to thicken, add cheddar and mascarpone cheese and all spices. Stir to incorporate. Pour over pasta in caserole dish and gently toss pasta and sauce just until coated.

Grate parmesan over pasta and cheese mixture, sprinkle with parsley. Place entire dish under broiler for 3-8 minutes, watching closely. You want golden brown and bubbling. Remove from heat, let stand 5-10 minutes and then serve.

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