We made this tonight for dinner. It's a side dish that's a meal in itself! This 3-cheese-mac was featured on Diners Drive-In's and Dives, and the recipe was found in the official D3 cook book I bought my parents last Christmas. Having tried this one at my parents' house and knowing it was a definite winner, I wanted to share it with skorzy. Watching his expression after his first bite, I think I'm now in direct competition with a pasta dish for my boyfriend's affections.
This isn't your grandma's mac and cheese, this dish is the most pungent, mouthwatering hunk of sharp cheesy goodness you'll ever dive into and it's almost a waste to serve it with anything else because it will punch those other sides in the face with flavor.
* 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta water
* 1 pound large elbow macaroni
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3 cups milk
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound white Cheddar, shredded
* 4 ounces Romano, shredded
* 4 ounces Asiago, shredded
* 2 cups bread crumbs (suggested: panko (Japanese) available at most markets)
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 by 9 baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
For variations, add cooked lobster meat, truffle oil, bacon and/or garden fresh vegetables.