Macaroni with Four Cheeses
This macaroni and cheese dish combines 4 cheeses for a dish sure to delight the cheese lovers in your family. Ground white pepper and red hot sauce add zing.
Recipe Serves 6 To 8
1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half, a little at a time. Cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Remove from the heat, season with the 3/4 teaspoon salt, white pepper, hot sauce, and 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste and, stirring, add the macaroni. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil, and for about 5 minutes, or until the macaroni is al dente (slightly undercooked). Drain colander and return the macaroni to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the garlic and stir to combine. Add the reserved sauce and stir until well combined. Set aside.
5. Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with the remaining tablespoon of butter and set aside.
6. In a large bowl, combine 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano with the Cheddar, Fontina, and Gruyere cheeses. Toss to combine. Place one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.
7. In a small bowl
combine the bread crumbs, remaining 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the 4
pepper blend and toss to combine. . Sprinkle this over the top of the macaroni
and cheese. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is
bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from die oven and allow to
cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Use 3 to 4
quarts of water per pound of pasta. Unsalted water will reach a boil faster than
salted water, so add salt to rapidly boiling water just before adding the pasta.
Use about 1 teaspoon salt for each quart of water.