Nothing, and I mean nothing, says comfort to me more than homemade macaroni and cheese. I love all macaroni and cheese, even the pretend version in the blue box. But my favorite was my grandmother's homemade. I wish I had her recipe. Whenever I opened the refrigerator door and saw one of those half circle wedges of Colby cheddar cheese, I knew what was in store. She would grate it with her box grater, creating little orange mountains. I think she might have used some cottage cheese too. I don't know, I just know that it was wonderful.
I don't make homemade macaroni and cheese much. Not because it's too hard, or time consuming, but because I love it too much. There is no control with me and macaroni and cheese. But you gotta have a treat every once in awhile. For this version I turned to Cuisine at Home. It was good, rich and cheesy, but I missed the tang of the sharp cheddar. The kind of graininess that cheddar seems to have. It was almost too creamy, if there is such a thing!
Oven-Toasted Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 12 servings
1 lb dry penne or mostaccioli
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 cups fontina cheese, shredded
1 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 and coat a 9x13" baking dish with nonstick spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
Whisk the cream, milk, sour cream, eggs, flour, and seasonings together in a large bowl, while the penne cooks.
Stir in 1 cup of the fontina and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella into the cream mixture. Add the cooked pasta, stir to combine and then pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top.
Combine the bread crumbs and parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake until the crumbs are golden and the cheese is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let the casserole rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
This will be my entry for this week's Presto Pasta Nights hosted by ME!!! So, if you want to participate send me your entry at morefromscraps(at)comcast(dot)net and cc Ruth: ruth(at)4everykitchen(dot)com.