I have been so looking forward to sharing this recipe with you all! This mac n’ cheese is OVER. THE. TOP. I feel sort of bad posting this recipe not long after those divine scalloped potatoes, but I just couldn’t wait any longer!
My roommate and I ate dinner out at a French bistro a few weeks ago. As we perused the menu, everything looked fantastic, but one thing jumped out at me right away: blue cheese macaroni and cheese. Um, yes please! I decided immediately that I was getting it no matter what it was being served with! Each of our dinners were fabulous, but once my roommate had a taste of my mac, I had to guard my plate for the rest of the meal.
The next day I started looking for recipes to make a similar dish at home, because I knew I had to have it again. I had remembered seeing the Barefoot Contessa make a “Grown Up Mac and Cheese” recipe on her show once, so I decided to use that as inspiration and go from there. Rather than use four different cheese as the original recipe called for (which I’m sure would be marvelous, by the way), I wanted to feature the blue cheese, so I used only Gruyère (for it’s melting talents) and blue cheese. It was outstanding! The blue cheese flavor was, appropriately, the star of the dish, but it wasn’t over-powering at all because the Gruyère was there to support it. I would even dare to say that I liked this version even more than the restaurant one!
Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
2 cups pipette pasta or elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of salt to the pot, and then add the pasta, cooking it according to the directions on the package. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in another medium-sized pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, slowly add the hot milk to the butter and flour and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere and blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked pasta and stir well. Pour into a casserole dish (about 9-inch oval), and top with the bread crumbs and basil.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.