Monday, June 7, 2010

Fontina Mac and Cheese

I love mac and cheese. I love anything smothered in cheese, but pasta is the ultimate in cheesy deliciousness. Usually I go for a sharp cheddar with a little mozzarella thrown in for the stringy cheesiness, so I wasn't too sure about this fontina mac and cheese. Fontina isn't a very strong cheese, but it does have a wonderful flavor. Overall, I did like this mac, but it didn't reheat well and things must reheat well in this house! I might make it again, but I think I'd use a different cheese. The method was great though and the only major change I made was to use half and half instead of heavy cream. Less fat from cream=no guilt when adding in extra cheese!

Fontina Mac and Cheese
*From Annie's Eats

1 pound small or medium shells (I used rotini)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta in salted water until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente. It will finish cooking in the oven, so don't worry if it has a little bit of a bite. Warm up the cream in microwave. Cut up 4 tablespoons of butter and add to the cooked and drained pasta. Stir in the warm cheese and the fontina cheese until it all starts to melt. Here's some yummy shredded fontina:

Mix in salt to taste and add in the nutmeg.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish (I used an 8x8 dish). In a small bowl, melt the butter and add the panko and parmesan cheese. Stir together and then sprinkle on top of the pasta. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the top turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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