Friday, October 5, 2012

Pâtes avec Sauce aux Quatre Fromages - In Other Words.....

For the life of me I don't understand the mac and cheese in a box.  YUCK!  That stuff is just flat out nasty!  Now, does punk kid get those microwaveable cups of it from time to time.  Yes, I am not that much of a mean mom.  But, when it comes to family dinner there is no way on this planet that processed, gross orange goo will make an appearance at our table.

For YEARS I searched and experimented to find the "one" mac and cheese that the family would go crazy over and find it, I did!  This recipe is a mix match from so many experiments and is really quite versatile.  We mix it up a lot but the basic stays the same.

Some important notes to remember for this one are:

Grate your own cheese!  I think most of the "hosts" on food shows (not real chefs, IMO) are always saying, "Take a little help from the store where you can get it." as in, buy pre-shredded cheese.  I don't know what it is but I just would rather grate my own.

My personal suggestion and preference is to use a ridged pasta.  The ridges help hold onto the cheese sauce.  Tonight we had Jumbo Ridged Elbows.  If I don't use ridged pasta my next absolute favorite is Ditalini!  The sauce really works into the Ditalini and well, it's just cute!  It even sounds cute!!

Practice patience and use a WHISK!  I am surprised the number of people that don't use whisks.  Really?  This sauce starts out with a roux and you need the whisk to be sure it is all mixed evenly and you need the patience because you need to whisk for about 7 minutes. 

Be sure to spray your casserole with non stick cooking spray or you will have one hell of a touch time getting your mac and cheese out of the dish.  Baking time on this varies depending on how "brown" you want your top.

Baked Four Cheese Pasta
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c half and half or heavy cream 
  • 1/4 salted butter
  • 1/4 AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 ground mustard
  • 2 tbs worchestershire sauce
  • 8 oz (before cooking) pasta such as ridged ziti, ridged elbow or ditalini
  • 2-3 c shredded cheese.  Some great suggestions are:
    • extra sharp cheddar
    • white cheddar
    • asiago
    • muenster
Preheat oven to 350.

Cook your pasta in SALTED water according to package directions. 

While the pasta is cooking melt butter in saucepan, add in the flour and other dry ingredients.  WHISK this mixture for at least 2 minutes.  The reason for continually whisking and cooking after it is all incorporated is this process removes the "flour" taste.  By the way, congrats - you just made a roux!!!!

After 2 minutes SLOWLY pour in your milk/cream/half and half whisking the entire time to be sure that your roux and liquid is well blended.  Once combined you will need to continually whisk for another 6-7 minutes over medium high heat.  For my stove that is a setting of about 7.  Your mixture will start to thicken and you want a LOW bubbling.

Once you white sauce has thickened start adding in your shredded cheese whisking after each addition.  Add the drained pasta and mix well being sure to coat ALL of the pasta and letting it soak into the holes and ridges.  

Pour mixture into your prepared casserole dish and bake in preheated 350 oven for a minimum of 30 minutes.  I usually bake mine about 45 minutes since we like our top a little more browned.

That's is, guys!  The most delicious mac and cheese on the planet!  At least for this family.  I am sure that some of you may try and skinny this up - if you do and it turns out well let me know.  I'll never make skinny bitch mac and cheese but I'll certainly high five you for your effort.  ;)    


Love ya, mean it, please leave me a comment!  I LOVE comments!!!

PS - the title of this post was my attempt at French just to piss my BFF off!  Love ya, Z!


  1. OMG, you crack me up with your cute postings! I'm with you on the mac and cheese in a box...Yucky...Nasty! Your recipe sounds awesome!

    1. HAHA! Thanks so much! I really appreciate the comment and I hope that you try the recipe. I promise, it's awesome!