Mac and Cheese
( not really )
I like to utilize Orchette Pasta, it is like Ear shaped.
This pasta holds the creamy goodness inside better in my opinion and has a great mouth feel!!!
I like to add Bacon, Mushrooms, Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Cheese.
Top it with a Breast of Chicken.
You may make any variation of this that you like.
For 4 people I would cook 1/2 to 3/4 pound of pasta lets say depending on the appetites of those consuming.
Then make the Cheese sauce it is kind of like a sauce Mornay although not the classic Mornay Sauce.
1 # Orchette Pasta
6 Quarts Water
Bring the water to a boil, add salt to taste.
Add the Pasta, stir from time to time.
The pasta is cooked when there is a small speck of white in the middle.
When cooked I like to pour off the water and either utilize the Pasta right away or cool it with cold Water.
If I am storing cooked Pasta mix in a little Olive Oil cover and refrigerate
1/2 med. yellow Onion
2 t. minced Garlic
1 c. Olive Oil
1 c. Flour ( sifted )
3 c. Chicken Stock the recipe is here. https://homeontherange.blog/home-on-the-range-2/
3 c. Milk
1# Cheddar Cheese ( sharp or mild what ever your preference is ) grated, save some for the topping.
1/4 # Peccrino Cheese I use a rasp to grate this cheese it is hard like Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 # Bread Crumbs ( when my bread gets old I cut it down, dry it out before it molds.
Then I place it in a food processor and make my Crumbs.
2 T. chopped Parsley
1/4 c. of the Cheddar Cheese
THE ADD ON’S
1/2 c. Bacon, small diced
3/4 c. Mushrooms, sliced ( Crimini, Portabella, what ever is local or Button Shrooms )
1/4 Roasted Red Pepper cut into 1″ by 1/8″ strips( place the pepper over the fire of the burner,
cook until it is black then in a covered container to cool. Then peal off the skin.
This is one of the only things it is OK to burn. Do not let it turn white though. )
4 ounces Gorgonzola Cheese
4 boneless Chicken Breast ( use the bones for the stock )I use what is called an Airline Breast.
That is with the first joint of the wing attached. It keeps it juicy.
Make the sauce and cook the pasta first.
In a large pot heat up 1 c. of Olive Oil and add the Onions saute until translucent.
Add the Garlic and let it expand but not brown.
Add the Flour and reduce the heat stirring occasionally.
Let this cook for about 10 minutes do not let it brown this is a white Roux.
Have the Milk and Chicken Stock hot, add it 1/3 at a time with a whisk, whisk it until smooth.
Once all of the liquid is incorporated add the Cheese. Holding some Cheddar behind for the topping.
You may have to adjust the consistency a little that is OK.
Season with Salt and Pepper, set aside this is your sauce and you may cool some and save it for later or not.
Preheat the Oven to 425 degrees.
I make the sauce separate in case someone doesn’t like one of the add on’s.
Heat 1 and 1/2 ounces of Olive Oil in a large skillet.
Season the Chicken Breast with Salt and Pepper on both sides.
Place in the hot skillet skin side down and let brown.
When the skin side is brown turn the Breasts over and place the skillet in the Hot oven.
After 5 minutes remove the skillet and place the Breast on an oven dish skin side down, return the Breast to the oven.
place the Skillet on the burner, add the Bacon and let it Render.
When the Bacon is almost done add the Mushrooms. Saute the Mushrooms until done.
Add the Roasted Red Pepper.
Add the Cheese sauce, Gorgonzola Cheese, a little Cream if necessary.
Add the cooked Pasta and blend.
Season to taste, pour off into either a Casserole dish or individual serving dishes.
Top with a generous portion of the Topping.
Place in the oven to brown a little.
Remove the Chicken Breast from the oven and let cool 4-5 minutes and slice on the bias ( at a 45 degree angle ).
Pull the Mac and Cheese from the oven and top with the Chicken fanned .
Serve !!! I like mine with a nice White Wine !!!