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This week’s Frugal Family Feast recipe takes very little time to prepare and will bring a smile to everyone’s face. That’s because macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Kids and adults love this tasty treat for a main course or a decadent side dish.
This is a great meal for much less than $15. If you love macaroni and cheese or know someone who does, there’s not much better than a homemade version filled with fresh ingredients and a six-cheese blend.
Chef David used corkscrew pasta, because all of the little grooves grab hold of the melty, cheesy, saucey goodness. Feel free to customize with your favorite type of pasta.
He starts by cooking the pasta al dente, draining and then drizzling with a little extra virgin olive oil to keep it from sticking together while the cheese sauce is prepared.
To get a velvety cheese sauce, carefully heat the milk and corn starch on the stovetop, using a double boiler. This protects the milk from scalding and breaking down, keeping the mixture smooth. The milk will be hot enough to melt the cheese when steam rises from it. Don’t let the milk actually come to a boil. Fold in the cheese, stirring until the mixture is blended.
The fabulous finish to this mouth-watering mac and cheese is the panko topping and a hint of smoked paprika. Panko is a Japanese type of bread crumb that has a lighter texture than traditional bread crumbs. It’s available at regular grocery stores.
This hearty macaroni and cheese is a crowd pleaser. You can feed a large group or have plenty of leftovers.
Gourmet Six-Cheese Mac — courtesy of Chef David Rosov
- 1 quart whole milk.
- 1 cup dry corkscrew pasta.
- 3 cups six-cheese Italian blend.
- 2 teaspoons corn starch mixed in 2 tablespoons of cold water.
- 2 ounces plain panko bread crumbs.
- 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook 7 to 9 minutes.
- Drain and rinse under cold water. Let pasta dry well.
- Drizzle dried-off pasta with olive oil, coat evenly and set pasta aside.
- Warm milk in double boiler until it starts to steam. (Note: If the milk boils, the mixture won’t be smooth and the milk will curdle.)
- Add corn starch mixture while whisking the milk.
- Stir in the cheese; adjust the consistency of the mixture to keep it thick but pourable. Add more milk if it’s too thick or more cheese if it’s too thin.
- Let mixture cool slightly for 10 minutes.
- Put pasta in a medium mixing bowl and pour cheese mixture on top.
- Mix to incorporate and cover all of the pasta with the cheese sauce.
- Spray the inside of a casserole dish with cooking spray and pour pasta into dish, distributing evenly.
- Sprinkle panko on top with a little cooking spray for browning.
- Sprinkle smoked paprika over top of bread crumbs.
- Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley right before you serve.
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