Courtesy of Costa Vanikiotis: Three types of cheese and super-crunchy panko bread crumbs make up this crazy-good mac.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1 pound epoundow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces Romano cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs, available at most markets)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook, whisking the make a paste (or roux), about 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk vigorously until smooth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Add the heavy cream, all three cheeses, the 1 tablespoon salt and the pepper. Cook, stirring, until the cheeses are fully melted.
Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and top with the panko crumbs. Bake the macaroni and cheese until hot and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Top with the fresh parsley. Serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper 2008. All rights reserved.
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