Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not Yo' Momma's Mac and Cheese!

This was one of the first recipes I made from Giada De Laurentiis from The Food Network. When she was making it, she said it was her favorite Mac and Cheese, and apologized to her mother because this recipe was better than the one her Italian Mother made. I knew it had to be good, so I made it. I quite agree with Giada. It really is the best Mac and Cheese ever! It's more upscale and sophisticated than your average Mac and Cheese, and to me, it resembles Olive Garden's Fettuccine Alfredo, especially the leftovers.

So hold onto your lactose intolerant tummy (oh wait..that's just me) and lets get cheesy!!

Italian Macaroni and Cheese

12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper

2 cups (packed) grated Fontina Cheese
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked ham, diced, (optional, but I always add the ham!)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Grease your casserole baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ham, if using, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sometimes this dish is really saucy after it's cooked. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. (Make sure to check on it when baking. Oven time may vary.

You can find Fontina cheese, sometimes called Fontinelle, in the deli section of the supermarket. It's more of a specialty cheese.

And to answer the question you all are thinking...Yes, I did eat this; and Yes, it did cause certain digestive problems to my body. Was it worth it? That question is still up in the air. Oh, and it's definitely NOT diet food, that's for sure.


Laura said...

I love mac & cheese! Definitely giving this recipe a try.

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

Yes, I'd like to order the mac & cheese plate and a big glass of ice cold water.


Ande said...

All these yummy recipes and I am trying to lose weight. I plan on trying some of them anyway. they look soooooo---good.

Queen of Chaos said...

I think I will try this recipe for my potluck/scripture study group next week. Thanks for sharing!!

Megan said...

This is one I want to make. I wish I had the fontina cheese so I could make it today. Going to go put that on my shopping list.

I'm Always Rite said...

I am totally making this one too! You rock Wonder Woman! ;)