Hundred Dollar Macaroni & Cheese
Recipe Servings: 10 portions
Recipe Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Recipe Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound mixed soft to semi-hard cheeses, like Cheddar, Fontina, or Gouda
4 ounces Pecorino cheese, coarsely grated
1/2 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
1 pound Tortiglioni pasta, we recommend Delverde® Tortiglioni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon or spicy mustard
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Mix the grated cheeses together in a large bowl. Transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl, mix with panko, and set aside (this will be your breadcrumb topping).
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes, drain, and set aside.
Melt the butter with the rosemary, thyme, cracked pepper and red pepper flakes in a large pot over medium-high heat until the herbs are fragrant and the butter is melted, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in the flour and cook for another minute. Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of milk and whisk in. Once the milk is incorporated, add a couple more tablespoons and whisk in. Repeat until the flour paste is somewhat loose, and then add the remaining milk, whisking until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, while stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the mustard and cook another 30 seconds. Add the grated cheeses and stir in until melted.
Stir the drained pasta into the sauce and transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb-cheese topping and bake until the topping is browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Chef Suvir Saran is the author of two widely acclaimed cookbooks, American Masala: 125 New Classics From My Home Kitchen and Indian Home Cooking. His restaurant, Dévi has received a one-star rating in the Michelin Guide New York City two years in a row. Photo by Jim Franco.