Panko-licious! Sage-scented gourmet Mac-n-cheese

There is nothing quite like the cheesy-carby comfort goodness of a good mac-n-cheese. Naturally, I like to make my own version…

I am a gourmet mac-n-cheese and I am delicious.

The recipe:

(preheat oven to 375 F)
1 13″ long baking pan, greased (think, lasagna sized)
1 large saucepan
1 package short pasta (macaroni, orechiette, farfalle, etc.)
1 large onion, chopped
1 french shallot, minced
2-3 fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly (I used a mix of multicoloured organic and heirloom)
3/4 cup of sliced café/crimini mushrooms
3 cups shredded cheeses (cheddar, asiago, gruyere, swiss, mozzarella… feel free to experiment using your favourite cheeses)
1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan
1-1/2 cups milk (I use whole milk, of course)
1/2 cup pancetta or prosciutto in small pieces
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves (substitute other fresh herbs like oregano, basil, etc.)
3 Tbsp panko or breadcrumbs
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Boil the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. Heat up 2 Tbsp of butter in the saucepan. Add onions and shallots and sautée until translucent. Add in mushrooms. When soft, turn heat to medium-low, add in the pancetta, pasta, sage, cheeses and half the parmesan. Add the milk in thirds, mixing and allowing the cheeses to melt. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Pour the pasta mixture into the greased pan, top with half the panko crumbs, then half the remaining parmesan, place the tomato slices on top to cover the whole area. Top with the rest of the panko crumbs and parmesan. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble on top.

Enjoy with a cool summer salad of greens!

Quattro formaggio Mac-n-cheese with crimini mushrooms, prosciutto and sage

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