Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine
Macaroni and Many Cheeses
© James Baigrie

Macaroni and Many Cheeses

  • TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4 to 6
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

At the end of their wine-and-cheese parties, Cheesewhizzes Helen Jane Hearn and Natalie Wassum gather any leftovers to make an incredible mac and cheese later in the week. The adaptation below, based on a recipe from Marion Cunningham's The Supper Book, works beautifully with any semihard cheese but is particularly good with an international blend of French Mimolette, aged Dutch Gouda and American Vella dry Jack. A fine layer of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano forms a crisp topping.

  1. 2 cups elbow macaroni
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 3 cups milk
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  7. 2 cups mixed shredded semihard cheeses, such as Mimolette, aged Gouda and Vella dry jack (1/2 pound)
  1. Preheat the broiler. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour until a paste forms. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking, until thickened. Off the heat, stir in the mixed shredded cheeses until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the macaroni to the hot cheese sauce and stir to coat; transfer to a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and sprinkle on the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 4 minutes, until richly browned. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead The cheese sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before adding the macaroni.

Suggested Pairing

A ripe Grenache is bold enough to stand up to this rich mac and cheese.