When you combine the carby goodness of Valentino Pasta with cheesy goodness you get magic. You get comfort. You get…I got it… You get carby cheesy awesomeness. Yes, that’s it. Carby. Cheesy. Awesomeness. You have been warned.
In a dish where the pasta can be an afterthought using an artisan pasta makes more difference than you may think. A good small batch pasta that has been extruded through brass dies and dried slowly will give a great chew and texture, as well as hold more cheese (bonus!). The pasta should be a part of the dish, not just a vehicle for cheese. That beats the blue box every time. Also the cheese can be a mixture of what you like. There are some ideas of cheese mixtures and garnishes at the end of the recipe.
This recipe is super simple. We used lumache here, but ziti rigate would also be great, and fusilli gigante would be really great! Some was served plain, and some we garnished with bacon and mini whole wheat croutons. Enjoy!
Stove Top Mac and Cheese
1 lb Valentino Pasta- fusilli gigante, ziti, or lumache
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese or a combo below
1 ¼ C half and half
3 Tbs butter
1tsp Valentino Pasta garlic salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Splash of white wine (optional)
Cheese Combo Ideas
8 oz cheddar, 4 oz Fontina or Monterrey jack
6 oz pepper jack, 6 oz mild cheddar
6 oz Fontina, 4 oz sharp provolone, 2 oz parm
Bacon bits and mini croutons
Toasted panko breadcrumbs