Neopolitan Macaroni and Cheese
Most of us never tire of a good, homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese - our all American comfort food. A lot of recipes you might have eaten would have some form of a roux, cooked flour and milk. When I saw this recipe - this step was completely omitted. The traditional cheddar is here, along with some great Italian Cheeses.
3 cup grated fontina (or cheese of your choice)
5 cups grated cheddar
4 cups milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 piece day old Italian bread
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 pound Pipette Macaroni
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. In a large pot, combine fontina and cheddar. Pour milk over. Let cheese sit in the milk for 30 minutes to an hour, until the cheese begins to break down and dissolve into the milk.
Grate bread on the coarse holes of a box grater to get about 1-1/2 cups coarse crumbs (you could also use Panko breadcrumbs). In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs. Stir and toss the crumbs until crisp and toasted. Butter a large baking dish and coat the bottom with a thin layer of bread crumbs. Stir 1 cup of the grated Parmigiano into remaining crumbs.
Whisk over medium heat the milk and cheese until cheese melts. Stir in remaining 1 cup grated Parmigiano. Meanwhile, add macaroni to boiling water. Cook until very al dente (3 or 4 minutes shy of package cooking time) and drain. Return pasta to pot. Add cheese sauce and stir until all of the pasta is coated with the sauce. Add pasta into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until browned and bubbly about 20-30 minutes.
I like to add tomatoes to my mac and cheese. You can add fresh or canned Italian tomatoes chopped. My son likes it without tomatoes so I usually wind up putting them in half of the baking dish.
~Adapted from Lidia's Italy