Thursday, January 12, 2012

Four Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese

"Sometimes you just have to take a break from your diet and binge…on cheese. My family loves mac and cheese, so when I came up with my version of the “Blue Box” they loved it. I cheat a little and add a jar of prepared cheese sauce to give it that little extra something, but you can really taste the asiago cheese in this recipe and we love it—It’s creamy and gooey and loaded with cholesterol I’m sure, but hey you only live once, right? Pair this with a nice, hot Italian Panini and you have a meal that will not only fill your belly but make you smile like a kid again!" —Lisa 

It's so cheesy good, it needed a close-up! 
You'll need: 
½ stick butter plus 1/8 of a stick for topping
3 tbs flour
1 lb Cavatappi macaroni
¼ lb Gruyere cheese, cubed
½ lb Asiago cheese, shredded
¼ lb Sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 jar Ragu Cheddar Sauce
Parmesan cheese
Italian bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil the macaroni.  Make a rue by melting ½ stick of butter in a large pot on medium/low heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the flour and mix well. It will be thick. Add the Gruyere, asiago and cheddar cheese. Add the cream and mix well. Continue to mix as the cheese melts together; it will be thick. Add the jar of Ragu cheddar sauce and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue to mix, melting the cheese slowly.  Stir until the sauce is smooth.

Meanwhile, drain the macaroni keeping ½ cup of the pasta water aside. 

Spray the bottom of a baking dish with Pam. 

Add the reserved macaroni water to the cheese sauce and mix well. 

Pour the macaroni into prepared baking dish and pour cheese sauce over it. Mix well making sure all the macaroni is covered. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the entire dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the parmesan cheese.  Top with several pats of butter. Bake 10 -15 minutes, and put the broiler on the last 3 minutes to brown the top.

My family loves to add some Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I told ya...“We put that S&*% on everything!” 

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