Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Artisanal Macaroni and Cheese

kosher salt, to taste
12 oz hollow pasta
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably panko
1 oz finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup flour
3 1/2 cups milk
4 oz grated Gruyere
4 oz grated Comte or Cantal
4 oz grated fontina
black pepper, to taste

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a 4-qt saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta transfer to a bowl; set aside.
2. Melt 3 Tbsp of the butter in a 4-qt saucepan over low heat. Add the bread crumbs and Parmesan, toss to combine, and transfer to a small bowl; set aside. Wipe out the saucepan and set over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Gruyere, 1 cup of the Comte, and 1 cup of the fontina and whisk until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and stir in the reserved pasta. Pour the mixture into a 2-qt baking dish and top with the remaining Comte and fontina. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

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