Crumbled Croccantini Mac and Cheese
Who says mac and cheese is just for kids? A sophisticated twist on an old classic that the whole family will love.
8oz macaroni, or other short, curly pasta
3/4 cups Roasted Garlic Mini Croccantini, crumbled, plus more to serve
1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup sharp white cheddar, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 /12 cups whole milk
1/2 small onion, grated
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. English mustard powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Add crumbled Croccantini, and cook for approx. 6-8 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Be careful not to let them burn! Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme, and salt (we recommend 1/4 tsp).
- Cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking. Drain, and let cool.
- In a small saucepan, bring milk to a simmer. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan, at medium heat. Add onion and garlic to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, about 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk.
- Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until sauce is thickened, stirring constantly, about 6-8 minutes. Add Fontina, Gruyere, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt and stir until all cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix into pasta, then transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
- Bake 10 minutes, and top with Parmesan Croccantini mix. Then bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, about another 8-10 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before serving.