Do you love macaroni and cheese? Is it comfort food to you? Delicious, yes . . . . homey, yes . . . . comforting, yes . . . .
Company fare??? hmmm . . . . YES!!
Especially if you make this version . . . . which is rich and indulgent and oh so very, very cheesy.
Not something which you would want to eat every day of the week of course, for health reasons naturally, but this is one that you won't mind breaking out at all when company comes to call.
They'll thank you for it . . . . trust me. Your family will thank you for it as well. In fact you may discover new relatives that you have never heard of, popping out of the woodwork just so's they can have a plate!
Your arteries???? well, they may not thank you, and neither will your hips . . . . but . . . . c'est la vie. You just can't please everyone can you??
Rich, golden and loaded with cheese flavour. You can make this up to 3 days ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in a microwave or a preheated 180*C/350*F oven just until heated through. Take care not to overbake though, in order to keep the cheese smooth. Delicious!!!
Just a note . . . . it does not freeze well, so you'll want to eat it all up.
hmmm . . . . NOT a problem!
*Cheesy Baked Rigatoni*
Serves 4 to 6
This is a wonderfully rich upscale version of macaroni and cheese. Not something that you would want to eat too often, considering the amount of calories it must contain, but as a once in a blue moon treat, it does the job just perfectly!
1 TBS salt
16 ounces of dried pasta rigatoni
(can also use fusilli, penne or ziti)
6 TBS butter
70g flour (1/2 cup)
500ml of cream (2 cups) **
1 litre of milk (4 cups)
freshly ground pepper to taste
more salt to taste
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
5 ounces freshly grated gruyere cheese (1 1/2 cups)
4 1/2 ounces freshly grated Emmenthaler cheese (1 1/2 cups)
5 ounces freshly grated strong cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups)
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
Stir the 1 TBS of salt into a large pot of boiling water. Drop in the pasta and then cook, stirring frequently, until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain well in a colander, rinse under cold water, and then drain again. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until bubbly and fragrant. Do not brown. Remove from the heat.
Combine the milk and cream in another large saucepan and bring just to the boil over medium high heat. Add all at once to the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place the pan back over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about five minutes. Once it has thickened pour it over the pasta in the boil, stirring it in to thoroughly coate the pasta. Spread this mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
Combine the four cheeses in a bowl, and then sprinkle them evenly over top of the pasta. Dust lightly with some more freshly ground nutmeg. Bake in the heated oven for 25 minutes, until the cheese melts, and the pasta is heated through and bubbling.
Preheat the grill to high. Transfer the baking dish to the grill oven and grill until the cheese is slightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let sit for several minutes before serving. Delicious!
**NOTE - If the idea of using this much cream bothers you, you may substitute an equal amount of tinned evaporated milk such as Carnation. (NOT sweetened condensed)