four cheese mac mishmash!

I realized earlier this week that my fridge was being overtaken with cheese. So. Much. Cheese. I had a few varieties from family entertaining and brie from grilled-cheese making. I knew it was mac + cheese time!

I had four cheeses: brie, fontina, fresh mozzerella and I always seem to have a bag of shredded sharp cheddar. The only milk I had in the house during this cheesy revelation was rice milk. I loved it in this recipe – it created an absolutely delish sweet, creamy undertone to the dish.

I love mac and cheese for its simplicity. You only need a handful of ingredients and you can get extra creative with spices if you’re in the mood. Curry mac, spicy cayenne mac, or savory thyme or sage mac. Or just go with classic black pepper and salt.

four cheese mac mishmash!
This is called mishmash, because you can really use whatever cheese and milk you have and it always tastes yummy!

the goods!
8 oz [half pound] dry farfalle (I love De Cecco)
3 tbsp butter + 1 tsp to coat pan
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups milk (cow, almond, rice, etc)
1/2 cup fontina cheese, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup brie, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella ball, sliced and divided by half
Freshly ground black pepper

do it up!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta 1-3 minutes less than package directions indicates, or until al dente, then drain and set aside. Grease 8×8″ pan with the extra teaspoon of butter and set aside.

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour until a paste forms. Continue to cook while whisking continuously for about 3 minutes. Add the salt and the milk and cook until milk warms, about 3-5 minutes, while consistently whisking. Add all the cheese, except half of the sliced mozzarella. Stir until all cheese melts and mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta to the greased pan. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Arrange the remaining slices of mozzarella and freshly ground pepper on top of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let sit for 5 minutes. Enjoy!!

I served mine with some pre-cut, black pepper, olive oil and garlic seasoned brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s [thank you for this goodness, TJ’s!]. I skillet-roasted them on high heat for about 12 minutes while the mac was baking. I added more olive oil while roasting and added maple syrup during the last 3 minutes of cooking. They turned out all golden brown and caramelized, just how I love them!

♥ channing

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