- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups of whole milk
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon of black pepper, divided
- 1 pound of uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 large eggs
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons of dry mustard
- 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
- 8 ounces Colby-Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), divided
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F with 1 rack in middle position and 1 rack positioned 6 inches from upper oven heating element. Rub butter all over inside of a 13x 9 inch baking dish; set aside.
- Place a large strainer over a large heatproof bowl. Stir together the heavy cream, milk, 1 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium.
- Stir in pasta; return to a simmer. Simmer until almost al dente, about 4 minutes. Pour pasta through the strainer, letting cream mixture strain into a heatproof bowl. Reserve 1 1/2 cups strained cream mixture; discard remaining cream mixture, or reserve for another use. Set aside.
- Gently whisk eggs in a large heatproof bowl. If the reserved cream mixture is no longer hot to the touch, microwave on medium (50% power) until hot, but not boiling, 30 to 60 seconds. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup warm cream mixture into eggs, whisking quickly and constantly, until eggs are warm and tempered.
- Whisk in cream cheese, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper (mixture will be chunky). Add remaining 1 cup warm cream mixture, and whisk to combine. Add Cheddar, and whisk until cheese starts to melt but some solids remain. Add cooked pasta; fold to combine. Pour half of the pasta mixture (about 4 cups) into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the Colby-Jack. Spread remaining pasta mixture over Colby-Jack. Cover tightly with aluminum foil
- Bake on the middle rack in pre-heated oven until it’s bubbling around edges, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully remove foil. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Colby-Jack, and return to the oven on the rack 6 inches from the heating element.
- Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil until cheese is browned in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let cool until the pasta mixture is set and firm, about 10 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 10.
Bake: 30 + 5 min + 10 min cooling
Total time: 1 hours
Recipe inspired by Food & Wine