Okay. Macaroni and Cheese. It's thee ultimate comfort food and one of our all time favorites, and we cannot wait to share this recipe with you! It's super easy, delicious and a fun dish to have your loved ones over with - or a great dish to bring your next party! Did we mention it is a great way to impress everybody with your amazing ultimate culinary skills?
We adapted this wonderful recipe from JustaTaste . We just split the recipe in half so the serving size would be for around 6 people instead of 12, and made a couple adjustments of our own after 2 trials of using what we had in the pantry ( we wanted it even cheesier!!). The neat thing about this particular recipe is that anybody can do this and make their own special adaptations of flavor by cheese (SO many choices! Gruyere is a favorite!) , fillings (like mushroom!) or garnish (Chives or parsley!).
Let's get straight to it since many people have been asking for it!
2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter (salted is okay too)
1 cups Panko Japanese bread crumbs
1.5 Tablespoons chopped fresh chopped Italian Parsley (- simply because that's what we had!)
For pasta and sauce:
1 head garlic
1/2 pound uncooked pasta (such as cavatappi, shells, rigatoni, or elbows!)
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) butter
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2.5 cups whole milk
2 cups coarsely shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
3/4 teaspoons salt ( or just a pinch if you used salted butter)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or as desired!We love black pepper)
3-4 slices of bacon
Make the crumb topping:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until toasted slightly. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Make the pasta and sauce:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Slice the top one-third off the head of garlic. Place the bottom portion on a piece of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper. Place the top portion back on the head of garlic and crumple the foil to create a sealed packet. Put the slices of bacon on a baking sheet separated from the garlic. Roast the garlic 30 minutes and bacon for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked to your liking - softer side or crispier!
Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and squeeze the cloves into a bowl. Using a fork, mashing the cloves into a paste. Set aside.
Dice the bacon and set aside.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Butter a 13x9-inch shallow baking dish.
In a large, heavy saucepot (such as a Dutch oven), melt 1/2 stick butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and reserved garlic paste. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes until golden. Whisk in the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce it to a simmer and let it cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
Add the pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pot, stirring to combine. (It will be soupy.) Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle it with the reserved crumb topping and place it on a sheet tray (in the event it bubbles over while baking). Bake the macaroni and cheese for 20 to 25 minutes until it's golden brown and bubbling.
We hope you guys enjoy making this recipe as we did! Let us know what awesome combinations you guys come up with!
All the best,
S + C
Check out JustaTaste for more recipes!