Damn, if this wasn’t one fine mac and cheese. I make macaroni and cheese in the colder months about twice a month, and that’s not even close to enough for my family. This one was ultra velvety and lush thanks to a blend of mascarpone (Italian-style cream cheese), cheddar, Monterey Jack, and creamy goat cheese.
As with pretty much any macaroni and cheese recipe, the cheeses listed here are but a suggestion. However, in this particular case Charlie asked me to write down the precise cheeses I used, so I would be able to replicate this exact version (macaroni and cheeses are more like snowflakes in our house, no two alike).
The Rolls Royce of mac and cheesesTweet This
You can definitely double this, and make two casseroles. Arriving at a friend’s house with a vat of creamy cheesy pasta ready to pop in the oven, or a freezer for a meal later in the month, is a sure way to spread a bit of happiness. (Of course if you think “hey, this could be our dinner!” do make that a question to ask before you go. People love macaroni and cheese and all, but your host may very well have planned his or her own meal.)
The handful of parsley add some fresh little green specks. Leave it out if people aren’t happy about green flecks in their mac and cheese, but I like the pop of color and the hint of herby freshness. Hey, I’m not saying it a vegetable or anything, but for some reason it makes me feel the teeniest bit better about the four cheeses. #Justification.
But yes, if you are serving this as a main course, you will in fact want a vegetable with it. I am 100% sure that Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette would be amazing, as would Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri Sauce or Green Beans and Mushrooms with Shallots. And you can never go wrong with a salad, such as Baby Romaine, Chickpea, and Root Vegetable Salad with Slightly Spicy Dressing or Romaine and Slivered Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing.
Ultra velvety and lush thanks to a blend of mascarpone, cheddar, Monterey, and creamy goat cheese.Tweet This
Because the combination of cheese and pasta is just perfect:
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- One Skillet (Carroty) Mac and Cheese
- Spinach Goat Cheese Baked Pasta with Sunflower Seeds
- One Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni
- Stovetop Macaroni and Four Cheeses
- Creamy Goat Cheese and Spinach Linguine
- Pasta with Ramps, Edamame, and Peas in Parmesan Cream Sauce
Creamy Four-Cheese Pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups 2% or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 8-ounce container mascarpone
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese about 1/2 cup crumbled
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Manchego cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound gemelli or ziti or penne rigate
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. and butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- For the sauce, in a large heavy saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring for about 4 minutes, until blond in color, and gradually whisk in the milk. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring the sauce to simmer, whisking frequently, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir in the mustard, mascarpone, creamy goat cheese, cheddar and Manchego cheese until everything is melted and smooth.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water, cooking until barely al dente (follow package directions, but stop a minute or two before the penne is fully cooked). Before you drain the pasta, scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water and whisk it into the sauce. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce along with the parsley and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the baking dish. There will be a generous amount of sauce, much of which will absorb into the pasta as it finishes cooking in the oven.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.
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