Source: Barefoot Contessa
During these unprecedented times, many of us are craving the nostalgia of traditional comfort foods – and there’s nothing more nostalgic or comforting than Mac & Cheese!
Although being stuck at home gives us ample time to whip up a version with time-consuming bechamel sauce, Ina Garten – aka The Barefoot Contessa – shared an overnight Mac & Cheese recipe that doesn’t call for any bechamel.
Garten shared the recipe on her website www.barefootcontessa.com and captioned an accompanying picture on Instagram, “Mac & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food but this overnight version is so easy – you don’t even need to make a bechamel!”
According to www.barefootcontessa.com, the recipe is as follows:
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces elbow macaroni or cavatappi, preferably Italian
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups grated Gruyere, divided
1 cup grated sharp white Cheddar, such as Cabot, divided
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for the dish
1½ cups fine fresh white bread crumbs
Twenty-four hours before you plan to serve the gratin, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the macaroni and cook for exactly 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium (10-inch) bowl, combine the cream, nutmeg, 1 cup of the Gruyere, ½ cup of the Cheddar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. When the pasta is done, stir it into the cream mixture, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a full 24 hours. The pasta will absorb the cream and expand.
When ready to cook, allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for about an hour. (You can also microwave it for 4 minutes.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Butter a 2-quart gratin dish, transfer the mixture to the dish and spread it evenly. Combine the remaining 1 cup Gruyere and ½ cup Cheddar and sprinkle it evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle evenly on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and crusty. Serve hot.