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Baked Mac & Cheese


1lb package medium shells or penne pasta
2 cups cream
2+1/4 cups grated cheese (I use 1+1/4 cup asiago, 1/2 cup white cheddar, and 1/2 cup gruyere)
1/4 cup panko
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
1 tsp each salt, pepper, and nutmeg

optional additions:
1) 1 cooked shredded chicken breast plus 2 cups chopped spinach
2) 1/2lb cooked chopped bacon plus 1 cup diced broccoli/cauliflower
3) Meat of 1 cooked lobster
4) 1 cup cubed ham plus 2 cups chopped spinach


1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a medium saucepan over med-low heat, make a roux using the butter and flour. Whisk until bubbly.
3. Add cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to roux. Continue whisking.
4. Cook pasta until hard al dente (2-3 minutes less than recommended cooking time).
5. When cream is bubbly, add cheese (set aside extra 1/4 cup) and whisk until cheese is melted.
6. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add meat, veggies, and sauce. Stir well.
7. Pour into 9x9" pan and top with panko and last 1/4 of cheese.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes until topping is lightly browned.