Smoked Provolone Mac and Cheese

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Comfort food? Macaroni and Cheese please!

 

It’s hard to beat pasta and cheese. It is, it’s fact, and it’s hard to refute!

I think it’s probably because there are a vast amount of variations you can make. You can switch up the cheeses for different textures, add in meats and veggies for delicious flavor profiles, and use all different types of pasta (Farfalle- or ‘bowtie’- is my favorite, Spencer loves him some Bucatini) to make it a little more exciting to dig in!

 

This recipe originally called for cheddar and raclette, but we opted for some different cheeses. We had some smoked provolone and gruyere on hand and have used that combo before, and let me tell you, those two cheese paired together lend themselves to a smoky, cheesy, next-level sophistication you’ve probably not tasted before… cue the mouthwatering drools, please.

 

It’s seriously yummy.

 

If you’re in the mood for macaroni and cheese but you’re looking to get away from your regular approach, absolutely you HAVE to try this recipe out- you’re missing out if you don’t. Plus, if you’ve always wanted to try the fancy-dancy-cheeses from your deli counter, this recipe is the perfect introduction for you. AND… it’s topped with bacon and breadcrumbs, making those first few bites extra crispy and delicately chewy!

Side Note: ‘fancy’ does not have to mean expensive, and these cheeses are definitely affordable!

 

What you will need for the Pasta:

  • Elbow Macaroni (We used large, but would recommend small)
  • Water
  • Kosher Salt
  • Smoked Provolone (We found at our regular grocery store)
  • Gruyere
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • White Onions
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Dusseldorf Mustard (Any brown or dijon mustard will do)

For the Breadcrumb topping:

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Raw Bacon (We used a Beef Bacon, and it was fabulous)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Dried Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Dried Parsley

 

Smoked Provolone Mac and Cheese

Delicious, smoky mac and cheese to up your cheesy pasta game! Wonderful on a cold night, or for a family gathering.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Party Dish
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • Deep-set Skillet
  • Large Corning ware or baking dish
  • Grater

Ingredients
  

Pasta

  • 16 oz Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 1/4 cup (100 grams) Smoked Provolone Shredded
  • 1 1/4 cup (100 grams) Gruyere Shredded
  • 1 1/4 cup (100 grams) Shredded Parmesan
  • 3 Medium White Onions Thinly sliced, not diced
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Liter Whole Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Dusseldorf Mustard
  • Water for boiling pasta
  • Kosher Salt to salt the water

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers
  • 6 oz Raw Bacon sliced into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Dried Parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Boil a pot of water as salty as the sea. Don't be afraid to make your water cloudy, salt is flavor!
  • Thinly slice your onions. In a deep-set skillet on medium-high heat, add your butter and onions and sweat until the onions start to turn a light amber color, approximately 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You will need a deep skillet- you'll be mixing everything in this pan later)
  • Once the onions are amber add in your flour and stir. You want to soak up all the moisture that's in the pan.
  • To the skillet, add your milk in batches, making sure to mix thoroughly between each addition. If you add your milk all at once, your flour will not incorporate properly. At this point drop the pasta into your boiling water for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • As the pasta is cooking, stir in all but 1/3 cup of your cheeses to the skillet, remove from the heat and continue to stir until your mixture starts to thicken. You will still notice a stringiness, but don't worry, as that will eventually melt.
  • Once the pasta is done reserve a 1/2 cup of the water and drain the noodles. Add the pasta water you just reserved to the skillet, along with the mustard and mix thoroughly. The sauce will be fairly runny at this point.
  • Transfer the mixture to your baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese- (we didn't end up doing this our first time making the mac and cheese and wish we had. Several of our noodles ended up brown and crispy... delicious still, but the breadcrumbs add enough of their own crunch later!) and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While your mac and cheese is baking, place your Ritz crackers in a food processor and pulse until you have fine breadcrumbs. You can do this with gallon bags and a rolling pin- may be a bit messier!
  • Slice your bacon into small slivers and add to a medium skillet over medium heat. Once your bacon reaches the crispiness you prefer (we love ours extra crispy) add in your breadcrumbs, oregano, rosemary, and parsley and stir until you get that Golden Brown Delicious color. Add in your garlic and stir for another minute or so. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Once your Mac and Cheese is done, remove from the oven and immediately top it with your breadcrumb mixture. If you want your breadcrumbs a little darker, feel free to add your mac and cheese back in to the (now de-heating) oven.
  • Serve and Enjoy!
Keyword Breadcrumbs, Cheese, Mac and Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese, Pasta

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