Macaroni and Cheese Gratin
I am going to post a few recipes on my blog for baked pasta and might as well start with the most popular baked pasta, Mac and Cheese. I like my mac and cheese not too wet with a crisp top layer. Sometimes I layer a few slices of tomatoes in the middle and always sprinkle bread crumbs on top before baking for an extra crispy topping. The sauce is a basic béchamel with butter, flour and milk and I add the cheese to it when it's done, stirring to just melt the cheese into the sauce. I tend to mix the cheeses: parmesan, gruyer, feta, goat, pecorino, whatever I have on hand that seems reasonable. I have even made it with some blue cheese in the mix. You can bake the mac n' cheese in a large baking pan or piled into individual shallow gratin dishes, baked and served individually. Shallow baking dishes would give more "real estate" for the topping so you have more crispy top layer. Don't smooth out the top either, allow the mac and cheese to have a few peaks here and there. These will become crisp and delicious and maybe even a bit charred in spots as you bake it at high heat. This recipe makes a large serving but is good heated up the next day as well.