Now that we are finally starting to get some actual Fall weather I feel like it’s perfectly acceptable for me to start making copious amounts of things like macaroni and cheese. One thing I love about mac and cheese is how simple it is to make, but can taste so different depending on what kind of cheese you throw in it – I don’t think it’s possible to have too many recipes for macaroni and cheese… This recipe in particular is quite delicious. It’s creamy and cheesy but the fontina really gives it an extra kick that you don’t find in your every day mac and cheese. The bread crumbs on top give it a little extra crunch buts it’s all melty when you pull it out of the oven. I think it’s a perfect rainy day recipe – great to eat while curled up on the couch to watch tv.
Fontina Mac and Cheese
1 pound small shells
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces (about 2 cups) Italian Fontina cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare shells according to package directions, but cook only until they are 1 to 2 minutes shy of al dente. Then drain.
Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large bowl. Warm the cream in the microwave, about 1 minute. Cover to keep the cream warm. Shred the Fontina.
Stir the shells into the bowl with the butter. Toss to coat well. Stir in the warm cream and Fontina, and stir until the cheese starts to melt. Season with salt to taste and the nutmeg.
Pour the mixture into a greased 13-by-9 ceramic or glass baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and sprinkle over the pasta. Dice the remaining tablespoon butter, and dot the crumb topping with small pieces of butter.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake