A fabulous CREAMY mac prepared atop the stove, then baked for a cheesy dish of comfort whenever you need that creamy mac and cheese fix! The recipe card includes directions for single-serve Homemade Creamy Mac And Cheese Muffins, too! NOTE: for muffins, you will need 3/4 cup of Bisquick or other similar baking mix.
Generously butter an 8 x 10-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Set aside.
Salt 2 quarts of water in a large heavy bottomed pasta pot and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions EXCEPT, reduce cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes. As a gauge, I reduce by 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water to cease the cooking process. Pasta will be somewhat tender but still firm.
While the pasta cooks, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in flour to create a roux. Cook the roux over medium high heat for 1 minute to cook out the flour taste.
Slowly whisk in the heavy cream until smooth. This may take several minutes and sauce will be thickening as you whisk. Add the Mascarpone (or cream cheese), half the shredded cheddar, Dijon, chopped rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, and Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the remaining cheddar with the bread crumbs (or lightly crushed corn flakes), Kosher salt, the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and cayenne pepper to taste.
Stir the pasta noodles together with the cheddar-Mascarpone mixture until all the noodles are very well coated. Turn the pasta out into the prepared baking dish. Top with the cheddar-breadcrumb mixture.
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until top of casserole is brown and cream is bubbly.
To Make 12 Individual Mac And Cheese Muffins, add 3/4 cup of Bisquick or other similar baking mix to the pasta during the step where you're stirring all together with the cheddar-Mascarpone mixture. Continue with recipe as instructed. Spoon equal portions into muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown on the muffin tops.To Freeze, scrape the leftover portions into a freezer safe plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, then mark with the contents and date of freeze noted on the package. Freeze for up to three months.To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight.To Reheat, portions may be reheated in the microwave easily.
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