My world has changed.
Birds are singing, the sun is shining and the mac & cheese is delicious.
It all started with a simple question: Stove top or baked?
I swore off baked macaroni & cheese a long time ago after many years of heavy, dense and brick-like concoctions. Then I discovered a stove top version that I fell in love with because it was easy and the result was creamy and ooey-gooey. Since then I have turned my nose up to baked versions.
And then I got schooled.
Him: "A good mac & cheese is finished in the oven so it can gratin. No exceptions."
Me: "But I don't like baked macaroni and cheese."
Him: "You don't have to bake it. Make your stove top version and add a bread crumb topping, a little more cheese and then stick it under the broiler for a few minutes and let it gratin."
Me: ... silence
Him: "You can have it both ways."
Those words rocked my macaroni & cheese world.
You can have it both ways.
He was right.
Best of Both Mac & Cheese
2 cups cavatappi (or macaroni)
4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
4 ounces white cheddar, grated
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
some chopped parsley
Boil the pasta. While the pasta is cooking heat a tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Add in the garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Toss in the bread crumbs, a few pinches of parsley and season with some salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Toss in the remaining butter and stir until the pasta is coated. Add in the cream and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. If the sauce is thick add a splash of milk.
Fill two 16 ounce ramekins with the pasta. Sprinkle a generous amount of bread topping, along with a bit more cheddar, over the top. Set them under the broiler for a few minutes until the tops have lightly browned.