Thursday, January 20, 2011

5 Cheese Macaroni

Five Cheese Macaroni

For Christmas dinner, the hubby wanted to do a "fancy" version of macaroni and cheese. So fancy we went! (Although after seeing the price tags on some of these cheeses...yikes!) We adapted this recipe to our taste.

Makes: A 9" x 13" pan of macaroni and cheese

16 oz package penne pasta
1/3 pound bacon
1 medium onion
6 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated fontina
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
3/4 cup grated Gruyere
3/4 cup grated Cheddar
3/4 cup grated Parmesan

PREHEAT oven to 450F
BUTTER 9" X 13" baking dish

BRING to a BOIL a medium pot of water
ADD pasta
COOK until al dente (soft enough to chew, but not mushy)
DRAIN pasta

While the pasta is boiling away....

DICE onion
SAUTE bacon in a large pot or skillet with high sides
REMOVE bacon
DICE cooked bacon

SAUTE onion in bacon grease until translucent
ADD 5 tbsp butter to the onions and grease

MEASURE out milk and cream
MICROWAVE milk and cream briefly to warm

ADD flour
WHISK constantly and briskly until well mixed with fat
WHISK in mustard
SLOWLY add milk and cream
WHISK constantly and briskly

ADD thyme and salt

LET SIMMER for 15 minutes

(Now is a good time to grate your cheese if you haven't already)

STRAIN the sauce into a large bowl to remove all solids
MIX in all of the blue cheese, 1/2 cup each of Gruyère, cheddar and Parmesan, and 1 cup of fontina until melted
STIR in bacon

ADD noodles to cheese sauce
STIR to coat

TRANSFER to prepared baking dish
TOP with remaining cheese

BAKE for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown


My Thoughts
1. This meal got pricey in a hurry--I about fainted at $30 worth of cheese. BUT, it was very rich and satisfying and a 9" X 13" pan is quite a bit of food so we got many meals out of it. The problem is that the cost doesn't scale down since you have to buy a block of cheese of a minimum size.

2. The sauce was thick and creamy and everything I love about really good macaroni and cheese in restaurants. The bacon was a nice touch and I probably would have been perfectly happy leaving the onions in.

3. This would be fantastic with vegetables in it. Yum!


  1. Some broccoli and perhaps peas might work as a good addition. I might have used green onions and left them in. It seems like a very intensive recipe! But it looks delish.

  2. It is intensive--but it is also Really Freaking Good. So it evens out. This would be amazing with broccoli or peas. : )


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