Recipe Courtesy of Gourmet With Blakely
“Ok, let’s get something straight here. I’m not one to say that my recipe is the best I’ve ever had. Even though most of the time it is. Just kidding… kind of. I have to say though, this mac and cheese is unreal. It’s very important to use good quality cheese for this recipe. Come on people, you can do better than that shredded fake yellow Kraft cheddar! Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place to use it, but this recipe isn’t the time. Use the good stuff.”
Preheat your oven to 400*F.
Boil a pot of salted water, and cook the pasta according to the directions so the pasta is al dente.
While that is cooking heat up a deep bottom pan ( I like to use a dutch oven) over medium high heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook for about 3-4 minutes to render the fat and cook it a little bit.
Once rendered, take the pancetta out of the pan and put onto another plate, leaving the fat still in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium. In the pan, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk together to make a delicious roux (pronounced roo). The roux is what will thicken the cheese sauce.
When everything is whisked together and it looks like wet sand, slowly add the milk a little bit at a time, whisking vigorously to ensure a lump free sauce. Once all the milk is in there add the nutmeg, Cheddar, Gruyere, and Gouda. Mix together until everything is melted. Turn off the heat.
I personally did not need to add anymore salt to this recipe because the cheese is salty, but try it and if you feel like it needs a little salt add it now. Add your cooked pasta and cooked pancetta.
In a separate bowl mix together the panko (if you don’t have panko you can use regular plain breadcrumbs), grated Parmesan, and chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle on the top of the macaroni and put into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is slightly browned and the sauce is bubbling on the sides. Now you’re ready to serve!