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5-Cheese Macaroni with Crispy Prosciutto

By 2:52 PM , , , , , , ,

It had been forever since I made macaroni and cheese. A recent BBQ presented the perfect opportunity to make one of the Husband's favorite side dishes.

I have more recipes for mac and cheese than I can count on both hands, but the Husband saw this Taste of Home recipe in my pile and there was no need to look any further.

This is pretty spectacular mac and cheese. It's creamy and those bread crumbs and prosciutto add great crunch. The 5 different cheese give this amazing depth. The gouda gives this a pronounced smokiness and the goat cheese, tanginess.

This recipe is definitely a must make again.

A few notes:
- I added crushed red pepper flakes and freshly grated nutmeg when I added the pepper and salt into the cream mixture. I would highly recommend doing this.
- I used 5 oz of prosciutto instead of the 4 oz the recipe calls for (that's what came in the pack I bought, so I just used it all). Trust me, no one will complain about an extra ounce of prosciutto.
- I didn't have white pepper, so I used black pepper in its place.
- If you want to make this ahead of time just complete the recipe through the pouring of the macaroni into the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Then top with the bread crumbs right before baking. That ensures that the bread crumbs stay crispy and don't get soggy. I did this and it worked perfectly, though it did take longer to bake - about 25 minutes. Just be watchful.
- The magazine recommends pairing this with a full bodied Chardonnay or Viognier.

5-Cheese Macaroni with Crispy Prosciutto

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
5 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
5 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
3 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
nutmeg and red pepper flakes, to taste

Cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in wine. Add cream, pepper and salt; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add goat cheese; stir gently until melted. Gradually stir in the remaining cheeses; cook until melted. Remove from the heat.

Drain macaroni; stir into sauce. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs. 

Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet, cook prosciutto over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Sprinkle over macaroni just before serving. Yield: 12 servings (1-1/4 cups each).

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