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Modern Mac & Cheese

Modern Mac & Cheese


1 lb farfalle (bow tie pasta)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms (optional)

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

Kosher salt to taste

1 cup panko  crumbs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons butter, softened



            Preheat oven to 350o.  Butter a 9x13” baking dish.

            Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil  in a large pot and add salt and pasta.  Cook 8-10 minutes or until slightly soft.  Drain well and set aside.

            Heat oil in a medium saute pan and cook onions and optional mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add to pasta. 

            In the same saute pan melt the butter over medium-high heat.  When melted whisk in the flour.  A whisk is important for preventing lumps.  Allow mixture to bubble for 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the milk, one cup at a time.  Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove sauce from heat and add the shredded cheese.  Stir in the chili powder, paprika and salt.  Combine sauce with pasta and spread into the prepared baking dish. 

            Stir together panko, Parmesan and butter until the crumbs are well coated.  Sprinkle crumbs evenly over pasta.     

            Bake 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling at the edges and the crumbs are toasted.  Remove for the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving. 

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