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Mac & Cheese Casserole

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Mac & Cheese Casserole

Note: If you are short on ingredients, feel free to substitute! This is a recipe that you can take in many different directions, and it can be made unique to any party based on what you have!

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Ingredients

12 oz of Valicenti fresh blonde pasta (we used gnocchi sardi)
3 tbsp butter
1/3 c flour
1 c milk
4 oz cheddar, grated
6 oz brie, rind removed
8-10 oz cubed ham
1/2 c grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 c breadcrumbs
Chopped parsley to garnish
Optional: any of your favorite vegetables, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Method

Preheat your oven to 350F, and bring a large pot of water to a boil over high.

Begin by making a roux by melting the butter over medium heat in a saucepan, then whisking your flour into it until it creates a paste. Then, add in your milk and bring down to low and let it simmer, stirring frequently until it begins to thicken. Then begin by adding your brie bit by bit, whisking it in to make sure each addition is melted and incorporated. Then, do the same with the cheddar. (If the sauce thickens too much, add in more milk to bring it to the desired consistency)

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, add some olive oil as needed over medium heat. Once it begins to ripple, add in ham and cook through. Then add desired vegetables, if you take that option, and cook until tender. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta as the pasta instructs. Strain well, then stir pasta into the cheese sauce followed by the ham and any other mix-ins. Pour mac and cheese into a 9” x 9” casserole dish, and top with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmigiano. Place in the oven for between 5-10 minutes, or long enough that the top is melted and crispy. Remove, top with parsley, and let it set for another five minutes before serving.

Serves 3.