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Ultimate Mac & Cheese

by Tom Fleming


Listen to the Podcast

Yields 6 portions


1 lb penne pasta

2 large shallots rough chop

2 cloves minced garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme

½ piece of bay leaf

Pinch nutmeg

3/4 qt heavy cream

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

½ pound of cubed smoked ham or turkey

1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup panko

1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons EVOO

Salt and pepper to taste


In medium sauce pot sauté over high heat shallots, garlic and thyme in 1 tablespoon of butter for 2 minutes

Add chicken stock, bay leaf and bring to boil

Reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half

Add heavy cream and simmer till thickened (coats back of spoon)

While sauce is reducing, bring to boil in large pot, 3 quarts salted water with 1 tablespoon olive oil

Add pasta and cook for 6 mins or until al dente

Strain pasta and toss with remaining olive oil and reserve

Pour finished sauce through fine strainer into clean pot and season with nutmeg

Return sauce to stove, Add cheddar cheese and half of parmesan cheese.

Whisk sauce over low heat until cheese has melted

Season with salt and pepper if needed

Combine pasta, sauce, ham and fresh Italian parsley in large bowl and toss well

Pour into baking dish and cover with Panko and remaining parmesan

Bake in oven at 350 till golden brown

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