I love mac and cheese. Any way you make it from the cheap box stuff that Kraft makes, to the gourmet version that my wife will occasionally treat me with. If you make it, I will eat it. I mean seriously, pasta, cheese, a little milk, a little salt, what’s not to love….except the added pounds! Parmesan mac and cheese is our ‘gourmet’ version of this classic! We like to pretend that we are in a fancy restaurant, and paying $10 for a side dish, but in reality, we found the block of Parmesan on clearance at a local grocery store and used a coupon to get the noodles for nearly free. Trust me, we love a deal!
Lacy starts this dish by making a roux. A roux is a mixture of fat (usually butter) and flour that she uses to make the base of the sauce. In this recipe we start by combining the butter, oil and flour. Then you slowly add in the milk. The trick is to add the milk slowly, while stirring, to try and avoid clumping. Next you add the cheese. Now we usually use a bag of shredded sharp cheddar. We like to joke and say we like our mac and cheese to bite! BUT in this recipe we add about 1/3 of a cup of Parmesan cheese. We grated it very fine and added it into the mixture.
Immediately you could smell Italy invade our kitchen. Oh I love that smell. It reminds me a little place I had the pleasure of visiting when I was driving around northern Italy with friends. It was a quaint little restaurant in a small village. I walked in, expecting to see a menu, and was promptly informed that they only had one thing they served! I was like, well, ‘I’ll give it a whirl.’ It was so delicious. Full of Parmesan and worth every penny. Now while I gobbled this mac and cheese down, as soon as it came out of the oven, my two year old turned her nose up to it immediately. She does not like ‘gourmet’ mac and cheese. She informed me that she wanted REAL mac and cheese. My wife and I had a good laugh at this. My mother (Hannah’s grandma) every other Friday gives her for dinner mac and cheese. Hannah specifically requests the SpongeBob kind. Upon learning that not only was she NOT going to get her regular mac and cheese, but that this gourmet stuff didn’t even look like her mac and cheese, she threw a little fit. Gotta love the terrible twos!
This is a very worthwhile recipe, and it will have you wanting more than just one bite!
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups of milk (for thinning)
- 1 cup of cheese
- ⅓ of Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1 pound of pasta noodles
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a pot of salted water on to boil for pasta.
- When water comes to boil add in pasta until just al dente.
- Drain pasta from water and set aside.
- To make the roux: Equal parts butter and/or oil and flour to make a roux.
- Let the roux cook for 1-2 min to cook out raw flour taste. Slowly whisk in milk to avoid any lumps.
- Once you have the mixture to desired thickness add in cheese.
- Gently fold in pasta to the sauce and place in oven safe dish and cook at 400 degrees until golden on top and bubbly.