17 April 2012

Crunchy Mac & Cheese made with Homemade Mascarpone

"That doesn't look like Mac & Cheese!" That's the reaction I got from a friend when I showed him the picture of the recipe I was planning to make. Quite honestly, that's exactly the reaction I wanted to get.

Most of us grew up eating the bright orange boxed kind. My Grandma (who looked after me while my Mom worked), would never serve us anything boxed or canned (except for veggies, yuck!). But from time to time, at home, I would eat  Mac & Cheese from a box. I'm ashamed to say, that most of it, I've eaten as an adult. I used to crave the orange color and salty fake flavors.

Although this is really Penne & Cheese, the essence of the traditional dish is still there.


I used Gluten-Free Penne (brown rice), but you can use any type of pasta you want. The real secret is on the Homemade Mascarpone. The crunchy breadcrumb topping adds a light touch to the dish.

That's the new baby. It's fun to watch him learn how to run.  

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For the Homemade Mascarpone:

2 cups Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Heat the cream on a double boiler until it reaches 190 degrees (bubbles will start to form on top). Add the lemon juice and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until the cream curdles. You should be able clear whey streaks while stirring. Let it cool down for 20 minutes. Then strain for 8 hours in the fridge. Save your Mascarpone in a closed container in the fridge. 

For the Pasta:

(serves 4)

1 pound of Pasta (Macaroni, shells, penne, etc.)
6 ounces Mascarpone
1/2 cup chopped Tomatoes
pinch of Nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Seaside Cheddar (or any other soft cheese)
 3 tbsp grated Parmesan
1/3 cup of Milk
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp fresh Parsley

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the packages instructs. Drain and reserve.

In a small saucepan, combine together the mascarpone, cheddar, nutmeg, salt, pepper, milk until they melt together. In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and finely chopped fresh parsley.

Add the cheese sauce to the pasta, add the tomatoes, combine very well in a baking dish. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  



Reem | Simply Reem said...

You know my kids love cheese n pasta but if I say mac n cheese they really want orange stringy thing... Box took over my kitchen too for ease. but now I don't ever make it.
This looks good and i am totally inspired to make Mascarpone at home...

trumatter said...

That's it? It's that easy? WOW


Me encanta!! tengo que probarlo, me parece una receta sencilla y exquisita.

Un beso

vegiebug said...

I make my mac and cheese with a crispy topping too! I never had the orange stuff as a kid, and to be honest, the sight of it is pretty disgusting! hahaha. I also add 10 tons of vegies in mine, so yours is far more like a mac than mine! Looks delish! :)

kankana said...

you made mascarpone at home and I had no idea it was even possible. I am so gonna try it now. I love mascarpone so much!

myFudo said...

It may not look like the usual commercial mac and cheese...but it looks to delicious not to try. This is yummy!

Cooking Rookie said...

Yum, so delicious, so pretty! Never thought about making mac and cheese with mascarpone :-).

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