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Christmas Mac ‘n Cheese

This is another one of my Godmother’s recipes and Christmas just isn’t the same without it on the dinner table.  When I asked her for the recipe, she told me there wasn’t one.  I would have to come over and watch her make it… let’s just say we were both amazed by how much cheese actually goes into this dish – but it’s worth every bite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups white cheddar, grated
  • 3 cups pepper jack, grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella, grated
  • 1 cup pecorino romano, grated
    • Tip: an easy way to grate all of this cheese is to thickly slice it and toss it into a food processor
  • 2 lb. egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Approximately 2 cups ‘Italian’ seasoned breadcrumbs

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Place all of the grated cheese into a large bowl and toss together with your hands until well blended
  • While the noodles are boiling, prepare the baking dish…
    • Make sure not to overcook the noodles because they will continue to cook in the oven
  • Spray a large glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I use PAM olive oil spray and I use this 4 quart oval Pyrex roasting dish – it’s the best for this dish)
  • Pour 1 cup of bread crumbs into the baking dish and turn the dish around until it’s totally coated with the crumbs; reserve the extra crumbs
  • Beat the 2 eggs and pour them into the baking dish – again, rotate the dish until it’s evenly coated with egg; discard any excess egg
  • Pour the rest of the breadcrumbs back into the pan and rotate the dish until it’s coated with the crumbs again – you’ve just created the crust for the mac ‘n cheese!
  • Once the noodles are cooked al dente, strain them and put the tbsp of butter into the hot pot
  • Pour in half of the noodles and then half of the cheese and stir together
  • Add in the rest of the noodles and the all of the cheese and continue to mix well over low heat
  • Once the noodles and cheeses are well combined pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish
  • Top the mac ‘n cheese off with another sprinkle of breadcrumbs and bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes
    • Baking this in a glass dish is helpful because you can watch to see that the breadcrumb crust is turning golden brown
  • Once the mac ‘n cheese is cooked, run a butter knife along the edge of the dish to loosen the crumb crust from the side of the dish
    • My Godmother always serves this dish tipped over like a mac ‘n cheese “cake” and then cuts it into squares – the breadcrumb crust should hold everything together when you place a large platter on top of the dish and flip it over

*This dish also freezes really well — so you can make it ahead of time, freeze it and defrost it the night before you plan on baking it!

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