Recipe by: Chef Shane McAnelly
Mac & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food craving. This dish is known for its velvety and cheesy goodness, unmatched by any other guilty pleasure dish. The buttery and creamy flavors of the Mac & Cheese create an unforgettable harmony with our 2018 Estate Chardonnay! The silky richness of the dish is perfectly contrasted by the elegant acidity of the Chardonnay. Each bite and sip will leave you wanting more!
- 1 lb macaroni pasta (penne, ziti, or shells are good substitutes)
- ¼ cup pf unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of flour
- 2 leeks, cut in half and then sliced thin and washed
- 1 crown of broccoli, cut into small pieces
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of ground clove
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 1 ½ cups of white cheddar or gruyere cheese
- 1 ½ cups of parmesan cheese
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced or done using a fine microplane
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 6 ounces of bacon
- ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
Preheat your oven to 475 F. Bake bacon in the oven until very crispy, 7-8 minutes. Turn broiler on. Bring a large pot of heavily seasoned water to a boil over high heat. When water is boiling, add the macaroni into the pot. Cook for 1 minute less than the package calls for, then drain. While pasta is cooking place a medium pot over medium heat and add butter and leeks. Cook until leek is softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Next, whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook for 1 minute. Add the nutmeg and clove and slowly whisk in the milk. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat, whisking as you go. When the milk comes to a simmer turn the heat off and whisk in 1 cup of the parmesan and all of the white cheddar. Pour the sauce into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the zest of one lemon and add the broccoli. Season the mix with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. When the pasta is drained add it to the bowl with the sauce.
Place half of the mix into the 9×13 baking dish. Using a tablespoon, dot the pasta with half of the ricotta. Add the rest of the pasta on top and repeat with the remaining ricotta. To make the bread crumbs, place panko and bacon in a bowl of a food processor. Process in short pulses until the bacon is fairly uniform in size.
In a small mixing bowl, add bacon bread crumb mixture and mix in the remaining half cup of parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and place in the oven under the broiler, on the middle shelf. Bake until nice and even, 5-6 minutes, checking frequently to not burn it.