Mac & Cheese has become for sure one of my favourites to eat! Said from someone that used to distrust everything containing cheese as a kid. I think I have come a long way.
I can now proudly go around saying that I learned to eat and appreciate something more than Parmesan and Mozzarella. Believe me, it took a long time and I am still picky about what cheese I can have or not. But Mac & Cheese and working in a deli surely had their impact on it.
The first time I had this dish was while visiting my sisters in London years ago and loved it. So when Simona got “Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen, this recipe caught my eyes and made my mouth water! I find Chrissy one of the only spontaneous people on social media and her cooking is amazing, so I couldn’t pass on trying it. After a couple of twists and add ons, we got the perfect recipe for it!
- MAC & CHEESE
- -500 g macaroni (or pasta shells)
- -4 oz of unsalted butter (113.4 g)
- -5 tbs all-purpose flour
- -4 cups milk
- -3 cups grated cheddar
- -3 cups grated Gruyère
- -3 cups grated mozzarella
- -1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- -3/4 tsp black pepper
- -100 g pancetta (optional)
- GARLIC CHEESY PANKO
- -3 cups panko
- -6 cloves of garlic
- -6 tbs unsalted butter
- -1 tsp salt
- -1/2 tsp black pepper
- -5 tsp grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 220 C and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter.
- In the meantime, in a large saucepan, heat the stick of butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add the flour and constantly whisk until it reaches a light brown colour - it will take around 5 to 6 minutes.
- Gradually add the milk and keep whisking, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce again the heat and whisk until it thickens - around 5 minutes.
- Add the cheeses a bit at a time, keep aside some of it for later. Whisk until smooth. Lastly, add in 2 teaspoons of salt, the pepper and the chilli flakes. If you're using the pancetta, add it now.
- Stir in the pasta, season to taste if needed and cook until the pasta is hot again.
- Pour the mixture in the buttered baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Finely slice the garlic. In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, melt the butter until foamy, add the garlic and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the panko and increase the heat to medium. Stir frequently until toasty and brown - 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, let it cool when done. After 5 minutes add the parmesan.
- Now add the crumbs evenly on top of the pasta and bake until the topping is browned and crisp around 8 minutes. Plate and serve.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta a minute less than the packaging says. Drain and add some oil so that it doesn't stick.
We did twick plenty of things, like the cheeses and the panko. The original recipe called for american cheese and sliced bread, but we didn’t have any, so as usual we improvised. It didn’t disappoint, so I am quite happy with it!
Also the original Mac & Cheese recipe from Chrissy’s book called for more pepper and cayenne pepper which we didn’t use. I have a huge distrust with pepper too, so that’s why. I also added pancetta and chilli flakes to it, but it can easily be made without.
This recipe can feed plenty of people, so beware while cooking. Or if you’re like me and love to eat leftovers, that’s for you! Just add some sriracha on top and you’re good to go. Pick your movie on Netflix and sit back!
Hope you enjoyed this recipe and let us know if you try it or twist it a bit! For more recipes check here 🙂