As I have mentioned before, Mac & Cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods and today I really wanted to indulged in some extra creamy goodness. I wanted to use fresh cheeses so on my lunch today I ran over to Wegmans and wondered around in their cheese section. I ended up with a sharp tasting New York Cheddar, subtle and velvety Gruyere, and a sweet and nutty Pecorino Toscano (made from sheeps milk). The three cheeses really complimented one another and gave the dish a smooth and rich texture with a nice crunch from the bread crumb topping.
1/2 lb elbow pasta
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup whole milk
2 cup mild Cheddar cheese grated (New York aged 12 months)
2 cups mild Gruyere cheese grated
1 cup Pecorino Toscano cheese grated
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
6 cups water
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium pot, add water, salt, and oil, then place over high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, add pasta to water and cook until desired. Drain pasta and transfer into an oven safe deep dish, set aside. In the meantime, grate all 3 cheeses and keep each separate. In a medium sauce pot over low heat, melt butter (make sure to keep on low heat butter does not burn). Once butter has melted pour in milk and stir. Leave over medium-low heat for bout 2 minutes, then slowly stir in each cheese one at a time and mix well. The cheese should start to melt immediately. Leave over medium-low for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture is a medium thick creamy consistency, not watery. Measure out bread crumbs and lightly toss the two together, set aside. Add some salt to cheese and pour over pasta mixing well. Top with bread crumbs, extra freshly grated Gruyere cheese, and bake for 20 minutes.