World's Best Macaroni and Cheese
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups Half-and-Half
- 3/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 cups grated French Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup grated Swiss Fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature, for greasing dish
- 1 1/2 cups coarse bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Macaroni: Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and let cool.
- To make sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 20 seconds.
- Add flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 1 to 2 minutes; do not brown.
- Add mustard, bay leaf and thyme and whisk in milk and Half-and-Half. Bring up to a boil. While whisking, add Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce and simmer slowly about 20 minutes.
- Strain through a medium strainer, add the cheeses and mix until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Crispy Topping: In skillet, saute bread crumbs lightly in melted butter until
lightly browned. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Mix macaroni with sauce. Place in baking dish and top with crispy topping.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.
- Serve immediately.
This can be prepared ahead of time.