The pancetta-panko-parmesean topping doesn’t hurt either
What makes the best mac and cheese?
I’m a no-egg mac and cheese girl. One, because I have a sensitivity to egg but also because I have never met an egg-bound mac and cheese dish that wasn’t GRAINY and curdled. In my opinion, the KEY to having the best mac and cheese is texture. We are aiming for a baked mac and cheese that is crunchy on the outside, and ooey-gooey on the inside. This recipe is all about texture juxtaposition and texture juxtaposition leads to the BEST mac and cheese.
Mac and Cheese Ingredients:
- 3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (reserve 1 cup for the final mixing)
- 12oz of Velveeta, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
Delicious Topping Ingredients:
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces pancetta, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente.
In a large saucepan, bring the milk and butter cubes to a simmer. Add in 2 cups of cheddar and cubed Velveeta. Stir continuously until fully melted then add mustard, sugar, and salt.
Drain pasta well. Combine milk-cheese mixture with cooked pasta. Mix in reserved cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Pour the contents of the bowl into the prepared baking pan, spreading the macaroni and sauce evenly.
In a medium bowl, toss together the Parmesan, pancetta, panko, and parsley. Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the macaroni.
Bake until the top is golden brown and bubbling and the pancetta is crispy, approx. 30 minutes. Serve warm.
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