Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Cheddar, Asiago, Romano
Macaroni and cheese is my favorite comfort food. But, what happens when you add that to a panini along with deli-style pancetta?
It’s a quick and simple recipe where you first create a macaroni and cheese mixture by melting a combination of my favorite cheeses – Wisconsin Cheddar, Asiago and Romano – and then filling two slices of sourdough bread with some fresh pancetta. Throw it on a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and let everything just cook through so that the mac and cheese can get even more ooey gooey in between the bread slices.
Yeah, like I said – this sandwich is epic.
Pancetta Mac and Cheese Panini
1 cup elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
2 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup (1 ounce) Wisconsin Asiago Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup (1 ounce) Wisconsin Romano Cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound pancetta, thinly sliced to make 12 slices
12 slices sourdough bread, toasted
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until well combined. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, then gradually whisk in Cheddar, Asiago and Romano, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; add cheese sauce to pasta and stir.
Heat remaining butter in grill pan over medium-high heat. Place 2 slices pancetta on one side of sourdough bread and top with generous scoop of prepared macaroni and cheese and then top with another slice of bread to create sandwich. Repeat with remaining slices of bread and macaroni and cheese to make six sandwiches.
Place sandwich in pan and grill, flipping once, until bread is golden and filling is heated through, about 2-3 minutes per side.
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