Mac and Cheese for Adults
September 25, 2014 • Pasta & Pizza
Do you ever hear about some food, and then feel compelled beyond your control to get in the kitchen and make it? A friend of mine recently told me about a mac and cheese cook off that she was able to enjoy in Aspen just a few days before Eater Denver ran a piece about 12 Spots for Great Mac and Cheese in Denver. Well call me
obsessed inspired!I call this mac and cheese for adults because it’s more interesting than just pasta and cheese sauce. It has fresh basil and tomatoes (eat from your garden while the harvest season lasts!), a béchamel sauce with 3 kinds of cheese, and cubed roast chicken. You can cover it and bake it just like this if you like.Or if you like some crunchy topping on your mac and cheese, sprinkle some crushed seasoned croutons on top and bake it uncovered. I think this might just give some of those top 12 places a run for their money!
- 8 ounces penne pasta, cooked 3 minutes less than package directions, drained
- 2 cooked, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- ½ cup chopped basil
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk (whole or 2% are best, but you can lighten up if you want)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces grated fontina cheese
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups seasoned croutons, crushed, optional
- Add the cooked pasta, chicken, basil, tomatoes and goat cheese to a large bowl. Melt the butter with the flour and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes, whisking often. Whisk in the milk a little at a time until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer to thicken, and then add the salt, pepper, fontina, and Parmesan, and continue to cook, stirring often, until thickened and the cheese has fully melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the other ingredients and gently toss to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and spread out evenly. Sprinkle crouton crumbs evenly over the top and bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, omit crumb topping, cover with foil to bake.