Italian Macaroni and Cheese

21 Feb

So, if you read my blog or know anything about me, you know that I have a weakness for macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and Cheese is my kryptonite… no matter how well I’m doing on a diet, I can’t ever seem to resist some cheesy mac. I guess if I’m being honest, I love anything with copious amounts of melted cheese on it–grilled cheese, fettucini alfredo, lasagna, queso dip, etc. I read somewhere once in a marketing textbook (or maybe I dreamed it…it’s really hard to say), that people are 70% more likely to buy something if it’s illustrated with a picture of melted cheese (I know I’m guilty of this, so we’ll call it science).

WHY WAS THIS NOT A MAJOR OFFERED BY THE COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON??

Recently my mom posted a video on my wall of some italian guy named Fabio making italian macaroni and cheese, and even though I’d decided that morning I was going to start dieting, I knew that if I didn’t make that recipe soon, I’d be dreaming about Mac n Cheese for the next few weeks. So, of course, I went out that afternoon and bought all of the ingredients I needed for my cheese extravaganza.

Oddly enough, this did not make the list.

I edited the recipe a bit from Fabio’s recommendations, partly because I couldn’t find fontina cheese, and partly because it is impossible for me to exactly follow directions of any kind. So below is my edited recipe from Fabio’s Italian Macaroni and Cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. dry elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded smoked gouda cheese ( just got a round from Bi-Lo and shredded the entire thing)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (or gorgonzola)
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Put the heavy cream and all the cheeses into a metal mixing bowl.
  2. Add cracked pepper and pinch of salt to cream and cheese.
  3. Put the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water on medium high and stir until the cheese is melted, set it aside.
  4. Cook pasta in the pot of boiling water until al dente.
  5. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  6. Saute the minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft.
  7. Remove garlic and mix with pasta.
  8. Mix in the cheese sauce, and put in the pot and heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. At this point, if you didn’t want to bake the macaroni, you could eat it right now. It tasted great and would’ve made a great creamy macaroni and cheese. I kind of wish I’d set some aside to compare the difference in taste.

    This is kind of what it looked like. I was too busy shoveling macaroni into my mouth to take a picture.

  9. While the sauce is heating, put the breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  10. Place Mac and cheese in an oven safe container and top with bread crumb mixture and bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. I made the mistake of leaving the macaroni in too long. The original recipe said 15-20 minutes, and I left it in for 17, and my finished result was not as creamy as I’d wanted it to be. I think it would have been much better had I not left it in as long.
  11. Also, I topped it with some more cheese, which I would advise against doing, since the cheese will burn before everything else is finished cooking. If you do want to top it with some cheese, do it like 2 minutes before you plan to take it out, that will it will be melty and delicious, and not burnt.
aaaand there goes my diet again.

aaaand there goes my diet again.

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One Response to “Italian Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. Tina February 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM #

    I love that Fabio guy.

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