We’re truly one to craving all the warm gooey cheesy things when winter rolls around. Sometimes the thing that will satisfy you best is a simply childhood dish. I mean Santa loves milk and cookies right? This week we’re sharing a truly delicious version of your childhood favorite- Mac N’ Cheese, kicked up a notch… because worse case if all else fails, there’s always good ol’ Kraft in a blue box hiding in the back of your cabinet next to the ramen noodles.

Ingredients

  • 1 box, approx. 16 ounces Barilla Penne (obviously you can always go with classic macaroni if that makes your heart happy)
  • 3/4 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded (we recommend aged or sharp cheddar)
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (don’t worry its not very spicy)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Coat a 2-quart broiler-safe oval baking dish with butter.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.
  4. Once water boils, add pasta. Cook 6 minutes, then drain.
  5. In a large bowl, lightly toss together the shredded cheeses (Cheddar, Gruyere and Asiago) set aside.
  6. Melt butter in medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and slightly bubbly (this is called a “roux” – now you’re fancy and french).
  7. In a thin stream, slowly whisk in milk.
  8. Stir in onion powder, salt and cayenne. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture.
  10. Back in the pasta pot, stir together the cooked pasta and the cheese sauce. Pour half into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with a generous cup of the cheese. Spoon remaining pasta into dish and top with remaining cheese.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Now if you like a nice cruchy crust- Increase oven temperature to broil and cook 3 minutes, until top is lightly browned.
  12. Make sure to let settle and cool before serving- ENJOY!
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