My dad got me this cookbook a while back, but I haven't tried any of the recipes because . . . well . . . cheese is expensive. Especially specialty cheese. But I decided to bite the bullet, buy the cheese, and try one. And because they all looked so good, I just went with the very first recipe.
Macaroni with Wisconsin Asiago
7 tb butter, plus extra for buttering dishes
1 lb cavatelli (which I couldn't find so I used the mini-bowtie pasta)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs flour
1 qt whole milk
2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of Tabasco
1 tbs Worchestershire sauce
freshly ground pepper
2 cups (1/2 lb) grated aged Wisconsin Asiago cheese (I couldn't find genuine Wisconsin, but I found some good Asiago from a less "authentic" brand)
1 cup (1/4 lb) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup coarsly chopped flat-leaf parsley (I forgot to buy this and used dried)
1/3 cup minced fresh chives (forgot this too, I used some chopped green onions)
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Preheat oven to 350*. Butter six individual gratin dishes (I used a 9x13 pan)
Cook pasta to al dente. Drain and cool.
In a medium saucepan over moderately low heat, melt 6 tbs butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and raise the heat to high. When the milk begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium and ocok, whisking occasionally, until thickened. Add the seasonings.
In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, sauce, asiago, cheddar, 1 cup of parm-regg, parsley and chives. Spoon into buttered dishes. Mix the breadcrumbs and remaining parm-regg cheese and sprinkle over the pasta. Dot lightly with remaining butter and bake on the middle shelf until crumbs are lightly browned and sauce is bubbling, 25-30 minutes
The Verdict: Mike and I LOVED it! It was so creamy and wonderful with just a little kick. The boys were indifferent. I think they would have been just as happy with the Kraft stuff.