What do you think of the Food Network show Throwdown? I think it's slightly more entertaining to watch than the Food Network competitions but still not high on my lists to watch. I did catch it one day last week and they had Bobby Flay up against the Macaroni and Cheese champion and he actually won.
I love macaroni and cheese if it's done right. Unfortunately I've never found a recipe that I absolutely love and rarely make it. (I'm ashamed to admit that Travis and Adrienne much prefer the Velveeta mac and cheese to homemade.) Sunday night I figured I'd give Bobby Flay's competition winning recipe a try and then submit it to this week's Presto Pasta Night over at Ruth's Once Upon a Feast.
How did it turn out? Well, the flavor was there but it was soupy. I knew making the sauce I should have added more flour to thicken it but I didn't. So, if you make this, make sure to thicken the sauce completely. Some of the reviews on the Food Network site said they had problems with their eggs curdling and sauce separating but I didn't have that problem. I'm hoping to make it again sometime because everyone liked it and hope it can come out in chunks instead of glops. :-) (Or maybe I'll try Alton Brown's recipe next time...)
Mac and Cheese Carbonara
(modified from Bobby Flay)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 to 7 cups whole milk, heated
- 4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
- 2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese, plus more for the top
- 2 cups Irish white Cheddar, plus more for the top
- 2 cups extra sharp Cheddar, plus more for the top
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for the top
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 3 quart baking dish and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in 6 cups of the hot milk, increase the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the all of the cheese until completely melted, season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add some of the remaining milk 1/4 cup at a time.
- Place the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce, reserved pancetta and parsley and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Combine together additional cheeses in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the macaroni. Bake in the oven until heated through and the top is lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.