Cascatelli Mac & Cheese


PASTA INGREDIENTS


  • 1/2 pound Cascatelli rotini if unavailable
  • 1/8 cup butter salted or unsalted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk whole
  • 2/3 cups cheese: 1 part Butterkäse, 1 part white cheddar, 1/2 part Raclette
  • 6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed bay leaf
  • 1 tsp crushed basil

White Cheddar suggestion: murray's old croc grand reserve sharp cheddar

TOPPING INGREDIENTS


  • 1/4 cup butter salted or unsalted
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumb
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend

METHODOLOGY


CHEESE SAUCE

  1. Prepare your ingredients. Shred appropriate measurements of Butterkäse, white cheddar, and Raclette. Crush your garlic cloves ahead of time.
  2. On medium heat, melt 1/8 cup butter until most water is evaporated. Once it stops boiling, mix in 1/4 cup flour until combined.
  3. After flour and butter is combined, mix in 1 cup milk, whisking rapidly until thickening.
  4. Once it starts to thicken, mix in the crushed garlic, basil, and bay leaves, followed quickly by another single cup of milk.
  5. Continue whisking the béchamel until it thickens again.
  6. When it re-thickens, turn the heat off and drop in all of your cheese mixture and use residual heat to melt the cheese while you stir.
  7. Once combined, you can save it on low heat, stirring occasionally.

BREADCRUMB TOPPING

  1. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet.
  2. Once butter is fully melted, add 1 cup panko breadcumbs.
  3. Mix thoroughly to disperse butter.
  4. Once butter is evenly distributed, spread breadcrumbs across the skillet in a layer and let them toast.
  5. Stir intermittently.
  6. Once breadcrumbs are golden brown, pour in 2 tsp Italian seasoning and immediately mix throughout.
  7. Repeat spreading breadcrumbs into a layer on the skillet, waiting for them to toast and stirring intermittently.
  8. Turn off heat and remove skillet when desired color is reached.

FINISHING THE DISH

  1. Cook 1/2 pound Cascatelli or Rotini according to package instructions.
  2. Once pasta is cooked, strain all water (do not conserve pasta water) and pour all of it into the pot with the cheese sauce.
  3. Stir thoroughly, and turn heat on medium-low if sauce has cooled too much.
  4. Once combined and heated, portion accordingly.
  5. Dish breadcrumb toppings as wanted or unwanted.