I wanted to include “creamy” in this title but I figured it was already quite a mouthful.
Hint hint: This mac n cheese is a super creamy-dreamy bowl of childhood nostalgia. The creaminess is such a vital component to the recipe. As I am writing (typing?) this, part of me wants to change the title completely. Life is hard.
Deciding on a final macaroni and cheese recipe was a prolonged, decision in itself.
People ask me all the time how I come up with recipes and ideas and combinations, blah blah blah. To be honest, only half of my mind is present during the day. Like part of me is concentrating on nutrient metabolism pathways, dietary assessments, fitness plans and social functions while the other part of my brain is a full-blown washing machine of recipe development. Example below:
How many cheeses, in what amounts, how to make it creamy but still somewhat healthy, what kind of breadcrumbs, pancetta or prosciutto, how unique can we get, ooo what about sun-dried tomatoes, can brie cheese be incorporated, what would Giada do…
Seriously my mind is juggling 10 million things at once on top of regular daily life stuff…there is never a dull moment in there. It’s cool and all but sometimes I wish my brain would just chill out ya know? That’s probably why I work out, take two hot showers a day and yoga it up so much. Freedom from all the craziness.
But if it wasn’t for my over dramatic life then we wouldn’t be here with this creamy aged cheddar mac n cheese that has crispy pancetta sage breadcrumbs –> all made on the stove top. So many details, so many run on sentences, so little time. My life in a nutshell.
Try to keep up, humor me and make this recipe! Cabot Aged Cheddar is involved and we all know how much I adore the stuff. Huge shout out to them for making this recipe possible. Whenever their package shows up on my doorstep my heart straight up skips a beat with excitement. (again with the drama, I know!)
- 1 lb. uncooked whole wheat macaroni
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 cups Cabot Aged Cheddar Cheese (I used this liberally; realistically 3 cups!)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped pancetta
- Handful of fresh sage, chopped
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to directions on package.
- Melt butter in a large pan over medium high heat, add garlic then whisk in the flour until the roux becomes golden brown in color; should take a few minutes. Reduce the heat then add in the mascarpone cheese and stir until it is incorporated into the sauce. Slowly whisk in the milk then add in the cheese and continue stirring until melted. Take off heat, mix in the macaroni, cover and set aside.
- To make the topping, sauté the onion and olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat with the pancetta until crispy and brown. Stir in the breadcrumbs and parmesan for a few minutes then sprinkle over mac n cheese and serve!
- Serves 6