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Four Cheese Pasta Casserole

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“This is the best mac & cheese ever - very grown up! It takes a little more time to make, but it's worth it! The recipe is from Cooks Illustrated. I only changed a couple of things, for instance, I like whole wheat bread for the topping. (I make no pretense of this being low-cal, and I wouldn't really even want to try and make it so - totally a splurge dish!)”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the topping: Tear the bread into quarters and put it in a food processor until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs, not fine. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Set this aside for now.
  2. For the Pasta and Cheese: Pre-heat your oven to 500°F
  3. Combine the four cheeses in a large bowl and set aside. Meanwhile bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. When boiling, add the pasta and 1 T of salt. Stir immediately to separate the pasta. Bring back to the boil. (Cook only until al dente - 2 minutes less than package directions).
  4. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a small-ish saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted and bubbling, stir in the flour and continue stirring the butter and flour mixture until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in the cream.
  5. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer a minute or two more.
  6. Stir in the ¼ tsp salt and the pepper and cover the cream sauce, and set aside.
  7. When pasta is al dente, drain. Add the pasta to the cheese bowl and pour over the cream mixture. (At this point, I would add the drained tomatoes). Cover with foil and let stand for 3 minutes. Uncover the bowl and stir very well with a rubber spatula to make sure the cheeses are mixed thoroughly and well combined.
  8. Transfer tot a 9x13” baking dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb topping, and press down lightly on the crumb mixture.
  9. Bake in the 500F oven for about 7 minutes.

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