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
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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.