My sister and I share a love of all things carbs, with a special place in our hearts for mac and cheese of any variety. Awhile back, I found a cookbook solely devoted to mac and cheese and gave it to her for her birthday or Christmas or something. (Which is not as good as a present she once gave me – it was an orange t-shirt with two cartoon cows dancing on it, with the words “I LOVE CARBS!”)
The recipe we’re sharing today originated with that mac & cheese cookbook. I made my sister send me screenshots from several options in the cookbook and settled on this one. We were very happy with our selection. Despite retaining the cheesiness of a standard mac & cheese, this feels slightly lighter. I mean, it’s certainly not low calorie, but the tanginess of the goat cheese just gives you a different sensation. I love goat cheese in any form, so definitely enjoyed this! I went light on the panko crust which worked for us. My only complaint at the end was that the finished product looked a little monotone in my pictures – so not really an actual problem!
We had this dish this weekend when our favorite Georgians came to visit us in Virginia! We had a great weekend, with some delicious food, a few roaring fires, some trap shooting, some wandering in the woods, and a fun day of Virginia wine/beer/cider tasting with stops at King Family Vineyards, Blue Mountain Brewery, Bold Rock Cider, and Devil’s Backbone Brewing! And, of course, we enjoyed visiting with our friends! They all approved of this recipe, so hopefully you will too!
(Adapted from The Mac + Cheese Cookbook)
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 5 cups small pasta (penne, farfalle, elbows, whatever)
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 oz goat cheese
- 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup + Panko bread crumbs
- Pre-heat the oven 400 degrees.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until very lightly simmering. Meanwhile, bring a large pot over water to a boil.
- Once the large pot of water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. When the butter has melted, begin to slowly whisk in the flour. When the flour is absorbed, remove the pan from the heat.
- Slowly whisk all of the milk into the mixture. (It will initially get incredibly thick, then begin to thin out.)
- When all of the milk has been added, return the pot to medium heat and whisk continuously for ~3 minutes.
- Now add the garlic, shallots, both cheeses, and salt to the pan and lower the heat to low-medium. Stir frequently until the cheeses are well-incorporated.
- Finally, add the pasta to the sauce and stir until all of the noodles are coated and distributed equally.
- Pour all of this into a rectangular glass baking dish. Top with panko crumbs. We only used a light coating, ~1/4 cup, but feel free to make a thicker layer if desired.
- Bake for ~10 minutes. Serve when hot and bubbly, and when the panko is lightly toasted.