David Venable’s Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese
Total Time: 1 hr, 10 mins
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
Dish Size: 4-Quart Baking Dish
As if ooey, gooey mac & cheese wasn’t decadent enough, you can thank my good friend David Venable for adding bacon. He likes to call it “divine swine” ;)
This recipe hails from one of David’s popular cookbooks, and I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Featuring five different kinds of cheese (count ‘em, five!), it’s no wonder it's his "Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese."
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- ¾ lb. cavatappi, rotini, or fusilli pasta
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 ounces Velveeta (processed cheese), cubed
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded extra sharp cheddar, divided
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, then cook until tender but still firm to the bite, 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, heat half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat. Just before the mixture starts to boil, remove pan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Whisk eggs in a bowl, then whisk in 2 cups of the warm half-and-half (this will keep the eggs from scrambling). Pour egg mixture into the saucepan and whisk to combine.
- Stir milk, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Velveeta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and 1 cup of the cheddar into the saucepan. Heat the saucepan on medium-low heat to help melt the cheese. Whisk in mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Do not let mixture boil.
- Toss cooked pasta and cheese sauce together, then pour into a 4-quart baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheddar.
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle an even layer of crumbled bacon on top and bake for 10 minutes more.
* Recipe from David Venable’s Cookbook: In the Kitchen with David: QVC’s Resident Foodie Presents Comfort Foods That Take You Home.