I’ll admit it (again…) that I love mac n’ cheese. Love it to a fault. Love it to my too tight jeans and back.
There’s just something about the ooey gooey cheesiness wrapped around a hunk of pasta that pulls me in for bite after bite after bite.
Back in January 2014, I wrote a post about the adventures in macaroni and cheese in our home… a search for the perfect mac n’ cheese. (That post can be found, here.) And though I still love and make that version, my experimenting did not end.
Which is how I wound up here…making this indulgent and somewhat grown-up version of macaroni and cheese. It’s the flavors that tilt it to a grown up version… No velveeta here.
The delectable sauce contains herb and garlic Boursin, as well as mascarpone, which produces a creamy sauce… Perfect for cradling the al dente pasta. And the crunchy topping? Parmesan and aged white cheddar!
One of the newer restaurants in Detroit, Townhouse Detroit, shared their recipe with our local paper and I couldn’t resist! I think I made this adapted version within 2 days!
Warm weather brought our grill out of hibernation for BBQ’d chicken last Sunday. And for me, mac n’ cheese is the perfect accompaniment. This is definitely one dish that will see a repeat on our table…yummy!
Indulgent Mac n' Cheese
For the SAUCE
½ Tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
5.2 ounce (1 package) Boursin cheese, garlic and fine herb variety
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water
For the PASTA
4 quarts water
1 pound dry Cavatappi pasta
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
For the GARNISH
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup butter crackers (like Ritz)
1 ½ Tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
1 cup aged white cheddar cheese, finely shredded
To make the SAUCE: In a medium stock pot heat the canola oil on low heat. Add the onions and slowly saute until lightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes; add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.
Increase the heat to medium and add the white wine to deglaze pot. Continue cooking until the wine is reduced by half.
Slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
Whisk in the Boursin and mascarpone cheeses to the sauce. Continue cooking until the cheeses melt. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, being careful not to over season.
In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water; whisk well. Slowly add the mixture to the sauce; whisk well to avoid clumping. Continue cooking, while whisking, until the sauce is thickened enough to just barely coat the back of a spoon. Do not over thicken sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the PASTA: In a large stock pot, heat water to a boil; add the salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions, about 9-10 minutes. Drain, do not rinse.
To make the GARNISH: In a food processor or in a large mixing bowl using your hands, combine all ingredients and crush to desired consistency. Mix together thoroughly.
To SERVE: Preheat the broiler to low. Place the sauce over low heat and add the cooked pasta. Stir to combine and heat through. Spoon the pasta mixture into individual ramekins (or desired serving dish). Top with aged cheddar cheese and Parmesan crumble and place in oven on middle rack. Broil until the top is golden brown.
The macaroni and cheese can be assembled in desired dish(es) and baked at 375°F until bubbly and browned on top. Note: I assembled/prepared ramekins about 2 hours before baking and serving. The mac n’ cheese held well at room temperature while awaiting the bake time.
Recipe adapted from, here.