Aired May 3, 2010
1 pound whole wheat macaroni or penne
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
About 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a generous handful
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/3 pound Gruyre cheese, shredded
1/4 pound sharp white cheddar
1/4 pound fontina, such as Fontina Val DAosta or aged Gouda
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 375F.
Bring a pot of water to a boil for pasta. Add salt and cook pasta 2 minutes shy of suggested cooking time. Drain.
In a saucepot, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Grate garlic directly into the butter or mince garlic and mash into paste with a little salt before adding to the pot. Stir garlic in butter a minute then pour into small bowl. Add breadcrumbs and work the garlic butter through breadcrumbs with your fingertips. Combine with Parm cheese and parsley.
Return butter pot to stove and melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour, let cook 1 minute then whisk in milk. Bring to a bubble then let thicken so it coats the back of a spoon, 8-10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. With a wooden spoon, stir cheeses into the sauce in a figure-8 motion. Once cheese melts, add Dijon.
Toss sauce with drained macaroni and transfer to a baking dish or individual dishes. Top macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs and bake 30 minutes or so until brown and bubbly. Serve with green salad as a main dish or alongside your favorite entre as a tasty side dish.