Susan’s House Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 12 oz boxes pasta (The author uses Campanelle or Cavatelli, but elbows are fine)
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.75 quarts (7 cups) heavy cream, warmed
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 16 ounces shredded white cheddar*
  • 12 ounces shredded Gruyère*
  • 8 ounces shredded Gouda*

*I don’t recommend buying shredded cheese. I buy the blocks and shred it just before making the dish.

Topping Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups Panko bread crumbs (plain)
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Scallions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, and return to pot. Set aside near stove with lid to keep warm.
  3. Melt butter in a 5 quart or bigger pot.
  4. Whisk in flour and cook until it has a hint of golden color.
  5. Whisk in warmed heavy cream.
  6. Cook for a few minutes, whisking.
  7. Whisk in sour cream.
  8. Whisk in salt, pepper, and dry mustard.
  9. Taste. Make sure the salt level is where you like it, bearing in mind the cheese adds a bit of saltiness.
  10. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary. (Add less to begin with if salt is a concern.)
  11. Add cream cheese and whisk.**
  12. Add cheddar cheese and whisk.**
  13. Add Gruyère cheese and whisk.**
  14. Add Gouda and whisk.**
  15. Mix sauce with pasta in very large stainless steel bowl. Make sure all the noodles are coated well.
  16. Butter a large casserole dish. If you have a 4-quart dish (14 x 10) it should all fit. The author uses a 3-quart (13 x 9) and a 2-quart (large loaf pan)
  17. Pour noodle and sauce mixture into prepared pan(s)
  18. Make a topping of melted butter and Panko bread crumbs
  19. Sprinkle topping over casserole
  20. Place desired number of halved cherry tomatoes on top
  21. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.
  22. Sprinkle on scallions during the last ten minutes.

**I taste the sauce at these points. Cheeses can vary, and it’s important to get enough cheese in the sauce, but not too much. Make sure it tastes like you want it to.