Saturday, May 25, 2013

Giada's Macaroni and Cheese

This week is the May Potluck at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  Participants can choose any of the former featured chefs and cook any of his or her recipes.  Since Ottolenghi is the first chef that I'm cooking with, I had a lot of chefs to choose from.  In the April Potluck I made a Jamie Oliver recipe.  This month I decided to cook one of Giada De Laurentiis' recipes.  I'm not sure that I've ever cooked any of her dishes before, though I have watched many of her shows on the foodnetwork.  I had some leftover ham in the freezer and I knew I couldn't go wrong with mac and cheese.  My kids LOVE the boxed mac and cheese.  I have tried many different homemade versions of the dish since they love it so much.  But I always get the same response, "I like the boxed one better!"  This version of mac and cheese has no cheddar.  So it's really different than what my kids are used to. Although they ate it and my daughter requested some for lunch the next day, the boxed stuff still rules for them.  This dish is really cheesy.  I substituted swiss cheese for fontina, added ham, which was optional in the original recipe, and left out the Italian parsley. Definitely not cooking "light" with this one.  But with the recent rainy and chilly weather we've been having it was actually quite the comfort food.

Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe slightly adapted from, courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Butter, for greasing dish
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Swiss
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup grated mozzarella
4 ounces cooked ham, diced
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Swiss, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and ham. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Swiss, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.


  1. There is such a big different between boxed macaroni and homemade macaroni that gets baked. My daughter only liked the boxed versions when she was small, but now she likes pasta so well that she eats it in just about any form. LOL! I love Giada's recipes, but I've never made this recipe before. It looks very creamy and decadent! I think the ham would be great in there.

  2. Yum!!!! Mac and cheese is one of my all time favourite comfort foods - always strictly homemade though. I love a lot of Giada's recipes, so I'm definitely up for giving this version a try.

  3. My son is the same way with certain foods. I guess I was the same way as a child too!

    The top of this mac and cheese looks fabulous. Love those browned bits!

  4. Mac 'n Cheese is such perfect comfort food. I love how cheesy this one looks. Giada is great for those indulgent, homey recipes! ;-)

  5. This looks delicious! I love Giada's recipes but have only tried a few. My kids would love this as well, they love pasta, and cheese!