As a sneak peek to Monday, here is George’s recipe!
1 lb. macaroni (elbow)
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
1 stick butter
½ cup flour
5 cups whole milk
4 cups (16 oz) sharp cheddar, grated
1 ½ cup Italian Style breadcrumbs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Basil leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil and add salt to taste. Then, add macaroni and stir gently allowing it boil for about 7 minutes until “al dente.” Remove from heat, drain well and place in an extra large bowl. Add both cans of diced tomatoes and chopped basil; mix with a rubber spatula; set aside. For béchamel sauce, start by making a roux in a medium stock pot. Melt butter under medium heat and whisk in flour. Keep whisking for under medium heat until roux is browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add 2 tsp salt. Gently whisk in the milk until properly combined. Constantly whisk the sauce until it thickens and begins to simmer, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 4 cups of cheddar. Gently mix it with a rubber spatula until completely melted. Combine cheese sauce and macaroni and pour into a caldero (for best results use an IMUSA Evolution Nonstick Caldero). Make topping by combining all of the ingredients and spread it evenly on top of mac and cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve and garnish with basil.