8 ounces rigatoni
3 cups Mornay sauce (recipe follows)
Robie Farm heavy cream (to thin Mornay, if needed)
1 cup sautéed shiitake mushrooms
½ cup prosciutto
Wild porcini salt* to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons minced basil
¼ cup grated Robie Farm smoked Toma (Alpine-style cheese; substitute with a smoked Gouda)
¼ cup grated Robie Farm Gruyère
¼ cup grated Robie Farm Piermont (Tangy semi-soft cheese; substitute with a Muenster)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced thyme
4 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
Mornay Sauce (Makes 3 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup diced shallots
Wild Porcini salt
¼ cup flour
2 2/3 cups milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream (or as needed)
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
Freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground white pepper
½ cup Robie Farm Gruyère cheese
*To make your own Porcini salt: Using a spice grinder and, working in batches if necessary, pulse 4 ounces of dried porcini mushrooms until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine ground porcini and 1 cup of sea salt.
Preparation - Directions
Rigatoni and mac and cheese assembly
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the rigatoni and cook for 7 minutes and cool under refrigeration.
Meanwhile, put a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Warm the Mornay sauce in a large saucepan over low heat.
If the sauce has been refrigerated and seems too thick, thin it with a little additional heavy cream.
Remove from the heat and add the rigatoni, cheeses (reserving ¼ cup for the top), mushrooms and prosciutto.
Mix well and season to taste with salt.
Pour into an 8-cup gratin dish, such as a 9x15-inch oval or cast iron pan.
Sprinkle the top with the thyme, reserved cheese and buttered bread crumbs.
Place the gratin dish/pan on a baking sheet in order to catch any sauce that may bubble over, then place in the oven.
Turn the heat down to 375 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbling around the edges. If the gratin has not browned, turn on the broiler to brown the top being careful not to burn.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallot is translucent.
Sprinkle in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly so that the roux doesn't burn.
Whisking constantly, add the milk and cream and whisk until fully incorporated.
Bring to a simmer, whisking, then add the bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves.
Move the pan to one side of the burner, away from direct heat to avoid scorching and bring back to a gentle simmer.
Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, reaching into the corners of the pan, for about 30 minutes.
If the sauce does begin to scorch, pour it into a clean pan (don't scrape the bottom of the pan) and continue.
Remove the sauce from the heat and season to taste with salt, a grating of nutmeg and a pinch of white pepper.
Strain the sauce, add the cheese and whisk to melt.
Use immediately or place in a storage container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to keep a skin from forming, and refrigerate for up to a week.
Note: If the sauce is too thick after refrigeration, it can be thinned with a little heavy cream.