Monday, November 24, 2008

Some things never change.


I used to love Giada DeLaurentis. Then, much like Rachel Ray, she overstayed her welcome. She accumulated several ridiculous television shows no one could bare to watch. We met her husband. She stopped cooking Italian and started cooking "Italian inspired". It was disappointing. So I started watching Ina, the Barefoot Contessa.

Giada still holds a special place in my heart (and stomach) though, simply because of the following recipe (and the lentil soup that Fiddler cast members like so much). I made it for the first time a few summers ago, and two of us barely made a dent. The plan for this batch of Giada's Mac and Cheese was to have a bunch of people eat it. Unfortunately, it took four of us two days to destroy this pan (I think I actually ate it three nights in a row). This Mac and Cheese is rich, heavy, and everything you'd want in a recipe calling for a half pound of Fontina.

Tealye, my sister, just happen to be passing through the weekend I made this. It was perfect
considering Mac and Cheese is her favorite food (surprisingly, she is no longer 10--she just turned 16). I was delighted to present her with this upscale version of her beloved blue box variety, which she really seemed to enjoy.

Some things never change.

Giada's Mac and Cheese
Honestly serves around eight, six if they're hungry.

Butter, for greasing dish
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) grated Fontina
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.
Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend (season this dish well!). Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Add the noodles and toss to coat (you can also do as I did and pour the mixture over the noodles and stir it around). Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture (I uh...forgot that part, which is probably why mine isn't that pretty).
Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving (the standing is really important here, and if not for the melted cheese's sake, then for your tongue's).

And because I now have the seminary reading my blog:

BEAUTY HONES

So many tears behind these words.
Love hones like that--
perfects and
purifies
the
gift.

St. Thomas Aquinas
(1225-1274)

3 comments:

Nina said...

That looks delicious!!!! And Giada is an italian skank. I can only dream of becoming half like her.

HOPE YOU'RE HAVING A FANTASTIC AND DELICIOUS THANKSGIVING! I'm knitting as we speak :)

Alexandra said...

i love you. oh and i would get a dollar for your heart.

KnitXcorE said...

that sounds fantastic.