Gourmet White Mac & Cheese with Truffled Parmesan

Large batch yields 20 portions!


For Topping:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 Cups Panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 Cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)
1/4 lb coarsely-grated White Cheddar (yields about 1-1/2 Cups)
1/2 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

For Macaroni Noodles & Sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
5 Cups whole milk
1 lb coarsely-grated White Cheddar (yields 6 Cups)
1/2 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp Truffled Parmesan Rub
Salt & Pepper to taste


Make topping:
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Melt butter, then stir together in a bowl with Panko (or breadcrumbs) and the grated topping cheeses until all are well combined.

Make sauce:
Melt the stick of butter in a heavy medium saucepan, over medium-low heat. Stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in the whole milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat to a simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, the Truffled Parmesan Blend, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, whisking mixture until smooth. Remove sauce from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.

Make Macaroni:
Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling, salted water (use 2 Tbsp salt for 4 quarts water) until noodles are al dente. Reserve 1 Cup of the cooking water when you drain the macaroni in a colander.

Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and cheese sauce in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Transfer cheesy noodles to two buttered, 2-quart shallow ovenproof baking dishes.

Sprinkle cheesy breadcrumb topping evenly over the two casserole dishes of macaroni, and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 min.

Remove dishes from oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.