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Mac & Cheese


Who doesn’t love the comforting goodness of mac and cheese? It is certainly the most popular pasta offering in our cafés! We make our mac and cheese with a creamy Mornay sauce enriched with white cheddar, Parmesan and fontina cheeses. For this version, we bake broccoli florets seasoned with olive oil, chili flakes and Sriracha until golden brown before combining with the pasta. The rich Mornay sauce is an excellent complement to the spicy broccoli and a crunchy topping of crushed Macrina Croutons brings the finishing touch. Cauliflower, asparagus or butternut squash may be substituted for the broccoli. They all add great flavor and nutrition!

Leslie

Ingredients  

  • Serves 6-8
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 6 cups broccoli florets (approximately 3 medium heads)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 cups fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 cup white cheddar, cubed or grated
  • 5 cups dried penne pasta
  • 1 cup Macrina Croutons, crushed



Directions  

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, chili flakes, salt and Sriracha. Add the broccoli florets and toss to coat evenly. Place the broccoli on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until just browned. Set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, the white pepper, ground mustard, nutmeg and cayenne.

Slowly begin adding a blend of the milk and cream, continually whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Increase heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes. Add all three cheeses and whisk to melt, simmering for another 2 minutes. Turn heat off, but continue whisking another 2 minutes to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the penne pasta and cook 9 to 11 minutes until the pasta is very al dente (it will continue to cook when you bake the dish). Strain and add the cooked pasta to the creamy cheese sauce. Stir to mix. Finally, add the broccoli and stir gently so you don’t break the florets up too much.

Pour the pasta mixture into a ceramic baking dish and top with crushed Macrina Croutons. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes until the topping is crisp. I like to serve this with a dollop of a simple tomato sauce made with chopped tomatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, salt and fresh herbs. Enjoy!


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