Baked Mac & Cheese

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INGREDIENTS

FOR THE TOPPING
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan (2/3 oz.)
12 Ritz crackers, crushed
FOR THE PASTA
6 c. cold water
1 tbsp. kosher salt
8 oz. farfalle
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE
1 c. evaporated milk
3/4 c. reserved pasta water
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan (3/4 oz.)
1 c. shredded white cheddar, divided (3 oz.)
1/4 c. shredded Fontal or Fontina (1 oz.)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, stir together panko, crushed Ritz, panko, Parmesan, and melted butter until panko is completely saturated by butter.
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine cold water, salt, and pasta. Heat until water is steaming heavily, stirring occasionally until just half-cooked and still very, very al dente, 7 minutes total heating time. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water, then drain pasta and shake off water well.
  • Return medium sauce pan over medium heat and bring evaporated milk, reserved pasta water, and black pepper to a boil. Add in Velveeta, ⅓ cup Parmesan, ⅔ cup cheddar, and Fontina. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  • In a small casserole dish, layer noodles and remaining ⅓ cup cheddar, then pour cheese sauce over. Stir gently to immerse noodles in sauce, then top evenly with panko mixture.
  • Bake until topping is golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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