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CUT Mac ’n’ Cheese

Experience mac ’n’ cheese in a decadent new way as Chef Wolfgang Puck, founder of the award-winning CUT steakhouse, puts a sophisticated spin on an American classic. In his version, cavatappi pasta is combined with crème fraîche and two kinds of cheeses. Serve alongside our Sous Vide Pork Chops (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing  
  • 6 Tbs. all-purpose flour 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 1 1/4 cups crème fraîche 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel, plus more, to taste 
  • 3 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded aged cheddar cheese 
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste 
  • 1 lb. cavatappi, cooked al dente, cooled in ice water and drained  
  • 3/4 cup fresh brioche bread crumbs 

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 3- to 4-quart square baking dish.

In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the 6 Tbs. butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until blended, about 1 minute. Add the bay leaf and slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is thickened, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Whisk in the crème fraîche and the 1 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/4 cups each of the mozzarella and cheddar. Season with fleur de sel and white pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and cheese sauce and stir in 2 cups of the mozzarella. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and cheddar and then with the bread crumbs. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden and the cheese is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Recipe courtesy of CUT.