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Best Recipes, Mains, Sides, Vegetarian

The House macaroni and cheese

The House macaroni and cheese
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Patina, that Melrose Avenue institution, has made one with hand-rolled macaroni and mascarpone cheese. Ammo, a Hollywood spot where you're likely to overhear conversations about personal trainers, does a version with four cheeses and wild mushrooms. During truffle season, Melisse ... Read more

Active work time: 30 minutes | Total preparation time: 1 hour | Serves 6
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 3/4 cups grated extra-sharp raw goat's milk Cheddar
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Fontina
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere
  • 1/2 pound large pasta shells
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko

Step 1Heat the broiler or the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the milk to just below boiling and set aside.

Step 2Melt the butter in a saucepan. When it starts to bubble, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute to make a roux. Slowly pour the heated milk into the roux, whisking constantly, and cook until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, about 15 minutes.

Step 3Remove from the heat and season with the salt, pepper, allspice, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir in the grated Cheddar, Fontina and Gruyere.

Step 4Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water slightly less than you normally would, about 10 minutes. Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce and divide evenly among 6 buttered ramekins.

Step 5Divide the bread crumbs evenly among the ramekins and scatter over top. Brown the bread crumbs under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes or in the oven, about 30 minutes.

Note: The House's Scooter Kanfer based this elegant dish on her grandfather's version. Panko are Japanese bread crumbs. Redwood Hills makes a good goat's milk Cheddar. If you can't find it, you can substitute 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar and 1/4 cup soft goat cheese.

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