Mac and Cheese with Leeks and Gorgonzola

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
50 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 leeks, thinly sliced
  • Bechamel Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter and oil and cook the leeks until tender but not browned. In a bowl combine the cooked leeks with the Bechamel Sauce, Gorgonzola, Asiago, thyme, oregano, and parsley. Toss the sauce with the pasta until well coated and season, to taste.

Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the remaining butter. Fill the springform pan with the pasta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.

Bechamel Sauce:

In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the garlic for 2 minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Remove the garlic and discard. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to make a roux, cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.

Heat the milk to just below boiling. Pour 1 cup of milk into the roux, whisking constantly as the sauce thickens. Add the rest of the milk, in 1/2 cup portions, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer the sauce over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring the bottom of the pot with a spatula to prevent burning. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese, kosher salt and nutmeg to finish the sauce.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes


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