Monday, March 16, 2009

Oven Toasted Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese


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.

Why does all my pasta line up so neatly?


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 eggs
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.

32 comments:

Shirley said...

This looks and sounds delicious. I like cheddar in mac & cheese too. One good thing about recipes like this...you can substitute or add different cheeses without ruining the flavor.

Deb said...

Wow! That looks so good. I'd like some right now. M&C can be great for breakfast!

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

This looks lovely. It is raining here tonight so it is just what I feel like. I already had Moroccan chickpea curry with couscous though so I may have to save this from tomorrow.

Joanne said...

My mom always made mac and cheese with American cheese when I was little, but now I've evolved to only like it with cheddar and/or mozzarella. This DOES look creamydelicious.

Peter M said...

That cross-section of the mac & cheese slice captures the essence of the dish...now I'm hungry again.

Marjie said...

I'd offer you my grandmother's recipe for m&c, but it was the blue box. Did you guess she was not the best cook on the planet? Yours looks terrific.

Donna-FFW said...

It certainly looks terrific.. I am not sure can it be too creamy? I , am in agreement with you on the cheddar, mac and cheese has to have cheddar. I love Cuisine at Home magazine, one of my favorites!

Katherine Aucoin said...

This looks so delicious! I love homemade mac-n-cheese.

I have an entry for your Presto Pasta nights. I will get it to you tomorrow!

Kat said...

I, too, had a yearning for the mac and cheese, which I don't endulge in often for the same reasons. I love the stuff. I just made the recipe on the Velvetta box, and it was yummy.
I have never made it with mozzarella, will have to try that one day. But I love the cheddar best.

Pearl said...

the first time i had mac and cheese was from the blue box, and i couldn't finish it. it had a weird aftertaste for me.
the next time i had REAL mac and cheese was at an ex boyfriend's house, and his mom made it for a casual dinner because it was his favorite dish. tasted completely different!

Terri and Bob said...

Good gracious, heaven on a plate.

shabby girl said...

Is there such a thing as "bad" macaroni & cheese?
I think not.
I've only had cheddar cheese on it as well. This looks so rich!

Ruth Daniels said...

i'm like you...little self-control. Your photo is fantastic and has me drooling.

Thanks for hosting Presto Pasta Night this week.

Pam said...

Oh how I love thee. I could eat a big bowl of this right now!

Natashya said...

Oooh, that does look creamy! Did you save me some?

noble pig said...

Nothing says comfort like stacks of cheese.

Antoinette said...

I looooove mac & cheese from scratch, and this is the first recipe I've seen that uses fontina. But I'm game! I bet it is really creamy. Wish I didn't have to take a Lactaid with it, though. Regulating portion sizes of mac & cheese is a built-in expectation. :(

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I love mac & cheese and always love seeing how everybody makes it a bit differently. This looks so rich--I'd love to be gorging on that right about now

Kevin said...

That looks so good! I like the crispy and crunchy toasted topping.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I don't make mac and cheese for the same reason -- cannot have it in the house, or I will eat it all. I love when it has a crust on top, too, so your recipe, though incredibly dangerous, is getting bookmarked!

cagrowngirl said...

Looks good...I will have to try it out. Thanks!!

Paula said...

I think I may have fainted when I first logged on to your blog! That second photo is enough to make anyone swoon in delight! My oldest girl absolutely LOVES homemade mac and cheese, and yours looks lovely. I like different kinds of cheeses, and cheddar does a great job with pasta. Okay, I'm going to go check those photos of yours again ... first, let me sit securely in my chair .... :-)

SweetPeaSurry said...

I'm pretty partial to the kraft macaroni and cheese. I just love that shite, I don't know why!!!

Sophie said...

This sounds & looks great!

This is the first recipe I've seen that adds cream, sour cream and mozzarella cheese to the recipe, but I can't wait to try it out! (My husband loves anything with cream, so I'm sure he'll love it!)

My mom usually substituted the breadcrumbs for either sliced tomatoes or bits of bacon.

I've only ever had the home-cooked stuff, living in South Africa I have never heard of the blue box?

Andrea said...

Love homemade mac & cheese....looks delicious!!! Can't wait to try this recipe. :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I'm impressed with your noodles all lined up in that one photo! Did you have to bribe them?! Looks delicious!

Grace said...

there's that stack of firewood again. i like a little crunch in my ooey-gooey mac and cheese, and this looks like heaven on a plate.

E4H said...

You had me at cheese.
It's nice how, in the second pictures, all the penne seems to be aligned.

Mary Coleman said...

i'm speechless. that looks so good.

Ace C said...

I think that I'm more intrigue by the picture than I am the actual finished product. Can I ask what kind of camera you are using.

Julia said...

Amazing. I'm a mac & cheese nut too. I request it every year for my birthday dinner. Your recipe and pics look lovely

hurstbeanblog.com said...

This looks delicious! Mac n' Cheese gets everyone excited... I recently did my own take on the dish using white beans... check it out if you have a chance!

http://hurstbeanblog.com/2009/04/23/cheesy-mac-n-beans/

Thanks