Macaroni and Cheese is Year-Round Comfort Food
While this dish is super special, there would be a riot at our house if I only made mac and cheese at the holidays. Whether it's Sunday supper, a family gathering or potluck party, there's no event that wouldn't be made more sweet with a dish filled with gooey macaroni and cheese. We en joy it as a side dish or as an entree, depending on the day and the time allotted for making accompaniments. There's simply no wrong way to serve it, at our house. For more ways to enjoy mac and cheese checkout my Parade article featuring 15 Sensational Ways To Make Mac and Cheese.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
5 Cheese Holiday Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 16 oz box cavatappi pasta [See Cook's note]
- ½ cup butter plus 3 Tbsp for the topping
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 ½-2 tsp salt
- ½-1 tsp white pepper
- 5 cups whole milk plus additional, as needed
- 2 cups shredded asiago cheese
- 2 cups shredded Italian sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray. Cook the cavatappi pasta in boiling salted water per the instructions on the box, until al dente.
- Meanwhile, grate the asiago, Italian sharp, fontina and mozzarella cheeses, into a medium size mixing bowl. Toss together until they are evenly combined.
- In a medium size stovetop pot, melt butter. Add flour stirring until flour is absorbed. Add salt, pepper, mustard and white pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 1 minute.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, The roux tends to stay around the edge of the pot, so be certain to incorporate all of the roux so your sauce will thicken.
- Bring to a boil test the thickness. [Add more milk ½ cup at a time only if the sauce needs more thinning.]
- Lower the heat and allow to gently bubble on low for 5 minutes until the flour has cooked and the sauce is creamy and thick.
- Add ⅓ of the grated cheese mixture into the sauce as well as ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Drain pasta, then add it to the sauce. Stir until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Pour ½ of the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the grated cheese mixture. Repeat ending with cheese.
- To make buttered crumbs: Remove crusts from two slices of bread. Pulse in a food processor until it becomes fine crumbs. Mix with ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and three tablespoons melted butter.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly then serve.