A piquant cheesy white sauce and a crispy topping made from potato chips and bacon creates the best — and most indulgent —version of mac and cheese that we have ever tasted. Served alongside roast chicken, or with a simple green salad and a glass of great red wine, this is the ultimate comfort food.

ingredients

  • For the Cheesy Corkscrews:
    6 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi (or other tubular pasta)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups greated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • For the Crunchy Bacon Topping:
    1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.

FOR THE CHEESY CORKSCREWS:
Bring a large pot of generously salted watch to a boil and cook the pasta until it's al dente. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk, and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly (the mixture will thicken as the heat increases).

Stir the dry mustard, salt, black pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce into the thickened milk. Stir in 3 cups of the cheddar and the Pecorino Romano until the cheeses melt.

Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce, and toss to combine. Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

FOR THE TOPPING:
In a medium bowl, combine the potato chips, Pecorino Romano, crumbled bacon, parsley and the remaining cheddar. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the macaroni and cheese and bake for 35 minutes. For a crunchier topping, finish under the broiler for 3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.

RecID 10272

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