Fabulous Recipe: Best Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This is the ultimate comfort food, truly nurturing and delicious. To give it an edge of extra richness, I suggest a top-quality imported Gruyère cheese. You could buy a standard super-market-quality Cheddar or Monterey Jack but, trust me, there is a difference; with Gruyère, the result is superior in both flavor and consistency.
- 1 pound ziti (or other small tube-shaped pasta)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt,
- plus more for the pasta water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- (from about 1⁄2 pound)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- (from about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Butter for greasing pan
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until halfway done, about 6 minutes; do not overcook. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Meanwhile, place the milk, cream, and garlic in the same pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the cooked pasta in the mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the grated Gruyère plus the 1⁄2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to the bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Butter an ovenproof glass dish approximately 8 X 12 X 13 inches, transfer the pasta mixture to the dish, and sprinkle the remaining Gruyère evenly on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden on top.
Note: The macaroni and cheese can be baked for just 10 minutes and then set aside and finished later for 20 minutes.