I don’t care how old you are. When you want Macaroni and Cheese, nothing else will do. You’ll never outgrow your craving for the tender pasta and creamy cheese sauce of your youth. Sometimes though, you want to indulge your grownup taste buds – and if you’re anything like me, that means a bold and aromatic blue cheese. Whether it’s a bold American Maytag Blue, or a slightly sweet Italian Gorgonzola Dolce, this earthy and decadent Bleu Mac ‘n Cheese will hit all the right notes!
Bleu Macaroni & Cheese
- 16 oz package of dried short pasta (elbows, rotini, small shells, etc.)
- 4 Tbs. butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 oz bleu cheese, chopped
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms (button or Baby Portabella), sliced (optional)
In a 6 quart pot, cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water, according to package directions for al dente.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining, and set aside. Drain the cooked pasta well.
*I don’t like to wash a lot of pots, so use the same pot to make the sauce:
Make a roux by melting the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for about 2 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Turn up the heat to medium, and whisk in the milk. It’s going to look greasy and broken for the first couple of minutes, but that’s okay!
When the milk/roux mixture starts simmering and thickens slightly, add the reserved pasta water, then mix in the cheese. Continue to stir until completely melted and smooth.
If using, add the peas and/or mushrooms to the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you’re not using the mushrooms or peas, let it simmer for the additional 5 minutes anyway. 😁
Turn off the heat and add the cooked and drained pasta back into the pot. Toss the pasta with the sauce thoroughly and gently, until completely combined, and the cheese sauce is worked into every nook and cranny of whatever pasta shape you’re using.
Dive in and savor every bite!
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, or even the freezer in sealed containers.
Because this mac ‘n cheese is so rich, I like to add the peas and/or mushrooms to lighten it up a bit and add another textural component. The mushrooms particularly enhance the earthiness and silky texture.
This is comfort food for the grownups!