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Swiss / Gruyere Macaroni and Cheese with Basil and Pine Nuts



Grown Up Mac & Cheese

I went on one of my food quests the other night and created two different types of Macaroni and Cheese dishes. I’m not much of a fan of traditional Mac & Cheese. It’s just a little too boring for me. So, when I saw that Better Homes & Gardens is looking for original Mac & Cheese recipes, I figured I’d give it a shot. I think I really hit a home run with this one. I hope you enjoy it and will send me any of your outrageous recipes or special tweaks on this all American standard.

INGREDIENTS

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I used skim milk, worked just fine)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup grated swiss cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 Tbs. grated Pecorino Romano
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or chiffonade
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
3 Tbs. fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or the romano

Cook pasta until just al dente. Drain and toss with 1 Tbs. butter to keep from sticking.

In a large sauté pan, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Add flour and whisk until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes. Add milk in a steady stream while whisking. Keep whisking until milk bubbles and mixture starts to thicken. Add cheeses and continue to whisk until all is melted and incorporated. Add salt and pepper. Toss with macaroni and add basil and pine nuts.
Pour into greased 8″ x 8″ casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and cheese mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown. Enjoy.