Perfect Mac and Cheese

A savoury post! Huzzah!

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I am multifaceted! I am a dynamic character! I am in love with this mac and cheese. Which is actually not mac. It’s tortellini and baby shells instead. My two favourite pastas! This made me so happy to make as I have actually never made homemade mac and cheese before. Like what have I been doing??

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Anyways, I burnt my index finger right near the cuticle while baking pizza tonight sooo it’s actually kinda hurting to type this. I shall make it short and sweet! You should make this with your favourite cheese(s), but I chose to go full-on gruyere because I just love it with pastas and baked eggs. I think a strong cheddar or a havarti would be rad too.

And with that: happy mac and cheezin’.

Mac & Cheese

(adapted from Top with Cinnamon)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups baby shells
1 (9 oz/250 g) package of fresh tortellini
1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups milk (I used whole)
5-6 oz of grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp sriracha
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt + pepper
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tsp fresh (or dried) thyme leaves
salt + pepper
1 oz Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, grated
~
Directions
Cook the dry pasta until al dente (usually 2 minutes less than instructed on the packet). (Don’t cook the tortellini/ravioli). Drain, and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (225 degrees C).

To make the sauce: add the butter and garlic to a medium saucepan and stir over a medium heat for a minute or two, just to cook the garlic a little. Add the flour and stir until you get a smooth paste. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

Very gradually, add the first 1/2 cup of milk to the pan, stirring it in as you do. Mix in the cream cheese, then slowly add the rest of the milk. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes until you can tell it has thickened. Stir in the buttermilk, sriracha, nutmeg, and the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the pasta into the sauce, then pour into a large, oven proof dish.

Make the cracker topping by melting the butter in a small frying pan, add the crushed Ritz, thyme and salt and pepper. Toast over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until crisped. Scatter the grated Parmesan/Cheddar evenly over the surface of the pasta, followed by the breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.

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