Another day, another glorious mac and cheese recipe. :) Holidays are such a crazy time of year and totally just feels like a tennis game of stress + fun times bouncing back and forth for 2 months straight, doesn’t it?? I feel the same way when it comes to holiday time cooking/baking; I usually mix things up between more complicated ‘impressive’ dishes and desserts, to more simple, cozy, comforting dishes like today’s Taleggio Mac + Cheese Topped with Buttery Crackers! I love this dish so much because it’s a simple stovetop mac and cheese with a super rich and silky cheese sauce that gets topped with crushed buttery crackers and stuck until a broiler for a minute or 2 until it’s perfectly toasted on top and bubbling in all its cheesy glory. So good. I’m usually not one for using ‘fancy’ cheeses in my mac and cheese, just a great melting cheese with nice flavor, but since it’s the holidays we’re stepping things up. Taleggio is a really nice rich and creamy, semisoft Italian cheese with a strong aroma, but mild flavor.
If you’re looking for a warm and cozy, ‘stick to your ribs’ type of dish, that will take you 30 minutes or less to make, this recipe is definitely for you. Enjoy! xx, Jenny
Taleggio Mac and Cheese Topped with Buttery Crackers
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 pound Cellentani pasta
silky taleggio cheese sauce
- 5 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 8 ounces taleggio cheese, cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch can use cornstarch
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
buttery cracker topping
- 10 crackers of choice, crushed such as saltines, butter crackers, etc
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- thinly sliced chives, for garnish
- Lightly butter a 2 quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of softened butter. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a handful of salt and pasta and boil, stirring occasionally, until pasta is fully cooked. Drain pasta, reserving 3 tablespoons pasta water. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, pasta water, egg, dry mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk together. In a large mixing bowl combine cheese, starch and lemon juice and toss together.
- Place saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk together for about 2 minutes. Whisk in small amounts of the cheese mixture at a time, making sure not to add more cheese until the previous addition had been fully incorporated to the sauce.
- Continue to whisk and add cheese over the low heat until all the cheese has been added and a smooth and creamy sauce forms (make sure not to rush this process or your cheese sauce will not be smooth).
- Once the sauce has been made, stir in the pasta. Adjust seasonings.
- Pour mixture into a lightly buttered baking dish.
- In a small bowl combine crushed crackers and butter. Sprinkle mixture over mac and cheese and broil on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until crackers have toasted and mac and cheese is bubbling.
- Top mac and cheese with chives and serve.
- *Make sure your evaporated milk-egg mixture is still pretty thin (just barely starting to thicken) or your end product will be too thick!
- *If the sauce seems too thin/loose that’s okay. It’ll thicken as it sits with the pasta.
- *The lemon juice will help prevent the sauce from getting stringy.