My sister will swear that the one of the only things I would eat as a child is macaroni and cheese. (Knowing my mother I don’t totally believe it.) But dinner from the blue box tastes like growing up and comfort and the days when I was too poor to eat much else. In the last few years I have tried my hand at a few homemade recipes and have fallen even more deeply in love.
So when I saw this book, it was a MUST have.
80 recipes of pasta and cheese? Sounds like heaven to me.
This is the first recipe I tried; a few small substitutions were made, noted below.
Dumac & Cheese
1/2 lb radiatore or rotini pasta
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c heavy cream, warmed
1 c whole milk, warmed – I used 2%
4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
4 oz sharp white Cheddar, grated
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 tbls plain breadcrumbs – I used Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13×9 baking pan. (There is not enough stuff to fit into a 13×9 pan. If you’re feeding a large crowd, double the recipe. If not, use a 8 or 9 inch square baker.) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until it is just beginning to soften to the al dente stage. Drain the pasta, run it under cold water, and return it to the pot. (Be sure to rinse the pot out with cold water also, or the pasta will stick to the pan.)
Heat the butter in a saucepan over med-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 min, or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly and appears to have grown in volume. Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the warm cream and milk. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes.
Reserve 3/4 c of both cheeses. Add the remaining cheese to the sauce by 1/2 c measures, stirring until the cheese melts before making another addition.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper then transfer the pasta to the prepared pan. Mix the reserved cheeses and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle it over the top of the dish.
Bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is bubbly and the crumbs on the top are deep brown. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.