1 16-ounce package of elbows, gobbetti or penne pasta
2 teaspoons of salt (added to the water for cooking pasta)
For the sauce:
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon. freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
½ cup shredded Italian Fontina
3 tablespoons mascarpone
For the topping:
1 cup dry plain white bread crumbs
1 tablespoon. olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup of shredded Italian Fontina cheese or Bel Paese cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain and place pasta back into the pot.
While pasta is cooking, place bread crumbs on a sheet pan or cookie sheet with short sides. Add the olive oil and combine with your fingers until the crumbs are coated. Place in the hot oven and toast. Stir every now and again with a metal spatula until the crumbs are golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour all at once, then slowly whisk in the milk while making sure the mixture is smooth. Whisk continually until mixture comes to a boil. Add the nutmeg, white pepper, salt and continue stirring.
Lower heat to a simmer and continue stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses and mascarpone.
Reheat the pot with the drained macaroni in it, and stir gently with a wooden spoon (this is to make sure all the remaining water has evaporated). Turn off the heat. Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni until all pasta is evenly coated. Place into a 9-by-12-inch baking dish and sprinkle 1 cup of Italian Fontina (or Bel Paese) cheese. Broil until top is lightly golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Top with the bread crumbs and serve immediately.
*Recipe Courtesy Karen Pickus, Chef, Good Morning America; 2008
Go to the next page for Sam's recipe.
½ C. vegetable oil
1 ½C. onion, diced
¾ C. green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
4 ounces flour
3 cups water
3 cups half-and-half
14 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
5 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
10 ounces American cheese, shredded
4 ounces Pecorino Romano, shredded
1teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons. lemon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons French's mustard
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 ½ pounds elbow macaroni
8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese
Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and peppers; cook until they are translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in flour. Add water and half-and-half. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree this mixture until it is smooth (*if using a regular blender, work in batches, filling the pitcher only half-full, since the liquid will be hot). Slowly add cheeses to warm pureed mixture, making sure all cheese is melted before adding more. Once cheese is completely melted, add salt, lemon pepper, sugar, mustard, vinegar and Tabasco. Stir to combine.
Cook 1½ pounds of dried elbow macaroni in boiling water, according to manufacturer's instructions. Cook until al dente, not completely soft.
Combine hot, cooked pasta and sauce in large mixing bowl; stir well to combine. Pour entire mixture into a greased 10-inch-by-12-inch pan (or a 9-inch-by-13-inch one). Top with 8 ounces. of shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano cheese.
Place under broiler until top is golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.
*Recipe courtesy of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que