Mac and Cheese – The Gooey Version

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by Michael on December 20, 2012 · 0 comments

in Main Dishes,Pasta,Recipes,Side Dishes,Uncategorized

About a year ago I had a request for a gooey runny mac and cheese. I was thinking about never having gotten around to the request. I decided to look up the last time I wrote about mac and cheese (recipe here). It’s not that. Not even close to the request. But, I figured it out.

I don’t often make this dish. The last time I made it was when I wrote the last recipe last year. One reason is that it’s not really good for you despite how it makes you feel. And truth be told, I like the stuff out of the box. I know.

So how do you pack more cheesiness in? Adding more cheese alone isn’t the trick – it would get oily especially when reheated. The first trick was getting the sauce thickness right so that it is not all absorbed by the pasta. The second trick is to fully cook the noodles before mixing with the sauce. Most recipes tell you to cook it al dente like good Italian pasta. In this case I wanted the sauce to thickly envelop the pasta not bake into it. And, I wanted enough sauce to fill the elbows.

This is best right out of the oven with the cheese running all over the place. We will see how the leftovers are tonight.

The recipe calls for a baking it with a baking sheet under the casserole. Remember to do this! The fire alarm will go off and the oven will be a mess

Enjoy

 

Ingredients

16 oz. large elbow pasta
7 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5 cups whole milk
5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
4 slices of bacon

 

Directions

Boil the pasta according to package directions.
Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the flour, salt, black and red pepper, and paprika.
Whisk constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.

Stir in the milk a cup at a time.
Whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Reduce heat to low, and stir in 1/2 of the cheese, stirring until melted.
Add the rest of the cheese and whisk until melted and smooth

Adjust the seasonings in the sauce – remember that there is a lot of pasta to cover.

Mix the sauce with the cheese and add to a large casserole dish

Fry the bacon strips until just less than crisp and remove to cool.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease and add the breadcrumbs.
Stir on low for a minute or two.
Chop the bacon and add to the crumbs and remove from heat.

Sprinkle the bread crumb mix over the top of the noodles.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes over a sheet pan (in case the cheese boils over).

 

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