4 from 9 votes
The Only Mac and Cheese Recipe You'll Ever Need!
The Only Mac and Cheese Recipe You'll Ever Need
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
This is the richest, creamiest, most decadent and seriously addictive mac and cheese you'll ever eat.
Course: Main Dish/Pasta
Servings: 6 - 8 servings
  • 1 lb curly pasta such as cavatappi or elbow, cooked according to package directions
  • 6 oz pancetta finely diced
  • 8 oz shallots about 2 cups, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz mascarpone
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese 1 1/2 cups, grated
  • 4 oz gruyere (1 cup) grated
  • 4 oz fontina (1 cup) grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan grated
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme minced
  • dash of hot sauce

  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley minced
  • 1 tsp fresh chives minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter a large baking dish or 4 - 6" cast iron skillets or ramekins.
  2. Cook pancetta over medium heat in a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot until golden brown, about 5 mins. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon to a plate and leave the drippings in the pan.
  3. Add the minced shallots to the drippings in the pan and saute until golden, about 3 mins. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 mins minutes more.
  4. Add the anchovy paste and dry mustard and stir well. Stir in the white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until reduced by half, 4-5 mins.
  5. Add the milk, cream, cheeses, salt, thyme and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Puree with an immersion blender or blend in a blender until smooth.
  6. Stir in the pasta and reserved pancetta and pour into the prepared dish or dishes.
  7. Topping: Stir all ingredients to combine and sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese mixture.
  8. Bake for 15-20 mins until breadcrumbs are browned and dishes are bubbling.