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Comfort Plus!

Creamy Garlic Mac and Cheese 
Comfort plus describes this new Mac and Cheese recipe.  I mentioned last weekend that I want to make some macaroni and cheese for dinner.
 Hubby suggested that since it was the weekend we should try something new and not my tried and true recipe.  I had saved this recipe from a post by The Noble Pig, a blog from a winery out west that I have followed for years.   It has three different types of cheeses and a crispy breadcrumb topping.  Now the one thing about the topping is that my son for some reason says he doesn’t like the bread crumb topping so when I sprinkled it over the top I left a small portion without the topping.
This dished turned out to be delicious.  We made sure we saved some for our daughter’s return from college.  I will make this one again.
 
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
1 pound pasta (elbow, macaroni or any other pasta)
 
CRISPY TOPPING:
1½ tablespoons butter
⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs
 
SAUCE:
¼ cup butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup flour (all purpose or plain)
4½ cups milk, divided (I used skim, but 2% or full fat are fine to use)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
salt and pepper, to season
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder (or a vegetable stock powder)
¾ cup low fat grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 ounces low fat mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS;
Boil pasta in salted water, according to packet instructions, until JUST al dente (do not over-boil)! Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.

Preheat oven grill or broiler to 375°F.

To make the topping – Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

To make the sauce:

Melt the ¼ cup of butter in the same pan / skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant (about 1 minute). Whisk in the flour; continue to cook while whisking (or stirring) for at least 2 minutes. Reduce heat down to low; gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk (about ¼ cup at a time), whisking between each addition to combine. Bring to a boil until beginning to thicken.

In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining ½ cup milk; whisk until lump free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bouillon powder.

Remove from heat and add in the cheddar, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella slices. Stir through until all of the cheese has melted. Toss the pasta through the sauce until completely coated.
Top with the Panko and the remaining parmesan cheese. Broil (or grill) in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling.

Allow to cool down slightly before serving.

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