Feb 28

Three-cheese macaroni


A couple of weeks ago, my coworker Jen – she of the popular Pet Tales column – asked if I had any good recipes for macaroni and cheese. Apparently she had just bought a pre-made serving of the classic pasta at a grocery store for lunch, and, well, it was disgusting.

I had, in fact, made homemade macaroni and cheese in the past. So I promised I’d find her a great recipe.

This one was also in my favorite Williams-Sonoma cookbook. It called for three tasty cheeses, so I figured it had to be good.

Sadly, it was a little bland. There was way too much milk in relation to cheese, so instead of gooey, cheesy goodness, it was milky and creamy. Not terrible, just not super great.

The recipe did have a variation, which I wish I would have followed. You actually increase the milk, but then top the whole thing with bread crumbs and then bake for 10 minutes. Instead I just sprinkled some Italian-style panko bread crumbs on top, which did make it super tasty.

So although this was edible, I’m still on the hunt for an amazing macaroni and cheese recipe. Can’t let Jen down!

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Recipe: Three-cheese macaroni

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s The Weeknight Cook

  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 lb macaroni, shells or penne
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles begin to form at the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, whisking to incorporate. Raise the heat to medium-low and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the Gruyere and Fotnina cheeses. Season to taste with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  6. Remove sauce from the heat and set aside.
  7. Once the water is boiling, add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, according to package instructions.
  8. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  9. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add as much of the cooking wtaer as needed to achieve a nice sauce consistency. Serve.


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1 ping

  1. Devon

    You’re looking for an amazing mac and cheese? This is the best ever. Double the chipotle and add it to the whole batch. I also usually double the bread crumb part because it is so good (and I always use sourdough bread for the crumbs).

  2. Sarah

    I always add more cheese than a recipe calls for, simply because I’m always looking for that intensely cheesy flavor. So far, my instinct has rarely steered me wrong.

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