Baked Mac and Cheese

Perfect in every way, this has a glorious cheesy sauce, and a beautiful crunchy, buttery topping. A great one for serving at gatherings because it won't dry out and go stodgy because of the extra step of tossing the macaroni in butter (stops it from bloating) and because it's extra saucy out of the oven.

Baked Mac and Cheese


Ingredients
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked (or other tubular pasta)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large 3 qt or 4 qt baking dish and set aside.Combine shredded cheeses in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and place in a large bowl.
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