Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Gruyere, Parmesan
If we lived in a world where I had to pick one pasta dish to eat every single day of my life, carbonara would win. Hands down. Its 15-minute cook time makes it the perfect weekday dinner; and I always seem to have some sort of pork product, eggs and cheese in my fridge and dried pasta in my cupboards. Turning it into a mac and cheese is the next logical step in making it even more cheesy, delicious and indulgent.
The recipe starts with pancetta being cooked until golden brown on both sides. The onions, garlic and fresh thyme give this dish a deep, aromatic flavor. The béchamel is a combination of milk, Dijon mustard, Wisconsin Parmesan and Gruyere. Both Wisconsin cheeses provide nutty flavor notes that I just love, giving this mac and cheese a bit more complexity, while still adding a good amount of cheesiness. It then takes a trip to the oven in a casserole dish until the top is lightly golden brown. There’s a nice cheesy crispy crust on top with a salty and savory center. I believe that all mac n cheese should be indulgent, fun and delicious. This Carbonara Mac and Cheese fits the bill, perfectly.
Carbonara Mac and Cheese
Serves 6 – 8
1 pound fusilli, cooked just under al dente
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten in small bowl
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyere Cheese, shredded and divided
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Add one teaspoon olive oil to large sauté pan and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, add pancetta and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Remove pancetta with spoon and transfer to bed of paper towels to drain. Set aside.
Add onion to same sauté pan and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Place garlic and thyme over the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add butter and melt. Once melted, mix in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in milk until mixture has thickened, about 4- 6 minutes. Add a few teaspoons of warm milk mixture to bowl with egg yolks and whisk. Add egg/milk mixture back to pan and mix until completely combined.
Turn off heat and add Dijon mustard, 1 cup Gruyere and 1 cup Parmesan. Add salt to taste; mix well. In large bowl, add pancetta, pasta and cheese mixture; toss together until pasta is evenly coated. Transfer to a 13”x 10” casserole dish and sprinkle top with remaining Gruyere, Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper. Transfer to oven and bake 12-15 minutes, until top is melted. Serve immediately.
Print This Post
Leave a Reply