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Baked Mac & Cheese Recipe


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     Baked Mac & Cheese

Category   Salads - Soups - Sidedishes
Sub Category   None

16 oz elbow macaroni (or similar), cooked
1 T olive oil
6 T unsalted butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
2 cups Gruyere cheese, freshly shredded
salt & pepper to taste
1.5 cups panko crumbs
4 T butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
1/4 t smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a large 3 qt or 4 qt baking dish and set aside. Combine shredded cheeses in a large bowl and set aside. Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente according to package directions. Remove from heat, drain, and place in large bowl. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, stirring to coat. Set aside.
Melt butter in a deep saucepan, dutch oven, or stockpot. Whisk in flour over medium heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute until bubbly and golden. Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream until nice and smooth. Continue whisking until you see bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking and whisking for another 2 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper.
Add 2 cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth. Add another two cups of shredded cheese and continue whisking until creamy and smooth. Sauce should be nice and thick. Stir in the cooled pasta until combined and pasta is fully coated. Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and the remaining mac and cheese.
In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately

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