How to make mac and cheese? This baked macaroni and cheese will fill your belly and your soul and is by far our favorite side dish to serve with family and friends (a little goes a long way with this one).
Here we pair our Dagostino's Penne Rigate pasta with an indulgent from SCRATCH cheese sauce and finish it under the broiler. We used a sharp Vermont white cheddar to give this a distinctly sharp flavor inspired by the fishermen of New England, but any sharp/medium cheddar will work just fine based on your preferences. We liked the extra flavor that comes from freshly shredded cheese, but feel free to buy pre shredded cheese to make it easy.
While this is certainly not an Italian delicacy, our pasta remains the star of the show with just the right al dente texture and explosion of flavor in this homemade mac and cheese recipe.
Who invented mac and cheese? The origins of “Macaroni and Cheese” no doubt are Italian, researchers have found macaroni and cheese recipes from the late thirteenth century in southern Italy.
But the American macaroni and cheese is thought that Thomas Jefferson encountered the dish in Italy and brought back the recipe to Virginia as well as a pasta machine. His daughter Mary Randolph is credited with inventing the dish using macaroni and Parmesan cheese. Later, the Parmesan was replaced with cheddar cheese. .
45 Minutes | Serves 8-10
1 lb Dagostino Penne Rigate Pasta
8 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz block of medium/sharp cheddar or Vermont white cheddar, shredded and split into 8 oz and 4 oz (see cheese note above)
1 tbl Crystal hot sauce (or more if you like the heat!)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with water, cover and heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, salt well. Boil pasta at high heat for 4 minutes and drain the cooked macaroni.Bring a dutch oven or sauce pan to medium high heat and mix heavy cream and milk and bring up to a simmer. Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a good amount of salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
While continuing to stir, gradually add the 8 oz of cheese and melt, whisk until smooth. Slowly add the egg yolks to the mixture. Be careful eggs do not scramble by whisking milk and cheese mixture constantly.
Place the cooked pasta into a baking dish. Add the cheese mixture making sure that the liquid mixture is able to seep into the middle of the penne tubes.Add the rest of the shredded cheese (4 oz) to cover the top of the noodles or to your preferred amount. Cover the baking dish with foil.
Bake at 325°F until the custard has set (about 30 minutes).
Remove foil and place under broiler until the cheese is bubbly and golden (about 3 minutes)
Cut and serve.
Buon Appetito! We hope you enjoy your baked mac and cheese!