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+ servings
4.14 from 23 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.