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Cascatelli Mac & Cheese
- 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
- 1/4 cup butter salted or unsalted
- 1 cup panko breadcrumb
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- Prepare your ingredients. Shred appropriate measurements of Butterkäse, white cheddar, and Raclette. Crush your garlic cloves ahead of time.
- 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.
- After flour and butter is combined, mix in 1 cup milk, whisking rapidly until thickening.
- Once it starts to thicken, mix in the crushed garlic, basil, and bay leaves, followed quickly by another single cup of milk.
- Continue whisking the béchamel until it thickens again.
- 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.
- Once combined, you can save it on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet.
- Once butter is fully melted, add 1 cup panko breadcumbs.
- Mix thoroughly to disperse butter.
- Once butter is evenly distributed, spread breadcrumbs across the skillet in a layer and let them toast.
- Stir intermittently.
- Once breadcrumbs are golden brown, pour in 2 tsp Italian seasoning and immediately mix throughout.
- Repeat spreading breadcrumbs into a layer on the skillet, waiting for them to toast and stirring intermittently.
- Turn off heat and remove skillet when desired color is reached.
FINISHING THE DISH
- Cook 1/2 pound Cascatelli or Rotini according to package instructions.
- Once pasta is cooked, strain all water (do not conserve pasta water) and pour all of it into the pot with the cheese sauce.
- Stir thoroughly, and turn heat on medium-low if sauce has cooled too much.
- Once combined and heated, portion accordingly.
- Dish breadcrumb toppings as wanted or unwanted.