4 Cheese Mac & Cheese
Ingredients2 cups heavy cream 2 cups buttermilk 1 small onion 4 whole cloves 4 cloves peeled garlic 5 sprigs thyme 1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorns 1 bay leaf 1 2-inch piece of ginger 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 tablespoon wasabi powder 3 tablespoons flour 4 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs 1 ½ cup Speziato al Tartufo cheese – shredded 1 ½ cup 4 year aged cheddar cheese – shredded ¾ cup Tavoliere (Italian table cheese) – shredded ¾ cup Gouda cheese – shredded 2 cups pasta shells salt pepper
In a medium saucepan add heavy cream, buttermilk, onion, cloves, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, ginger, cumin, wasabi powder, and pinch of salt & pepper. Cook on medium-high for 2 minutes, until mixture begins to boil, then turn down to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350o. Boil water to cook the pasta until al dente, approximately 5 minutes. Drain pasta then set aside in a large bowl. Make a roux in a large saucepan by melting 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Strain cream mixture into roux. Cook on medium stirring until thickened. Remove cream mixture from heat then add all but 1 cup of cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine. Pour entire mixture into a baking or casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Melt 2 tablespoons butter then mix with breadcrumbs and Old Bay Seasoning. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle wheat germ over breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 minutes.