out of the (blue) box. [mac & cheese w. crispy prosciutto & fresh parsley]

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I’ve finally mastered homemade mac and cheese (bold statement, I know). Though I’m a sucker for Kraft blue box, it can’t touch the pasta made from scratch. I kept this recipe relatively simple, only adding crispy prosciutto and fresh parsley. But if you’re looking for something more gourmet, give this recipe a try–four-cheese, white truffle oil and mushroom mac and cheese. Yes, it’s as decadent and rich as it sounds.

Recipe:

Note: Will only use about 3/4 of the cheese sauce

1 box Barilla Piccolini mini conchiglie shells

8 tbsp. (1 stick) salted butter

7 tbsp. flour

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups fat-free milk

1 cup grated parmesan

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 cup Jarlsberg, grated

1 cup Gruyère, grated

2 tsp. Sherry wine vinegar, plus more or less to taste

3 tsp. salt, plus more or less to taste

2 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more or less to taste

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 package prosciutto, torn into small strips

Fresh parsley, if desired

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Strain pasta then return to large pot.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and flour over medium heat until bubbly and thick, but not browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add whipping cream and milk. Whisking constantly, let mixture thicken, about 8-10 minutes.

Add four cheeses, salt and pepper, and continue stirring. After sauce is smooth and cheese is melted, stir in Sherry wine. Pour 3/4 of the cheese sauce (or less) into pot of pasta and stir together. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Place prosciutto strips in pan and cook until slightly golden brown and crispy. Remove prosciutto from skillet and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Top macaroni with crispy prosciutto and fresh parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

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  • Stefanie

    Looks amazing! The addition of prosciutto sounds wonderful! A perfect dish to dress up or dress down :)

  • http://chicaandaluza.wordpress.com Chica Andaluza

    Wonderful – comfort food at it´s very best. In fact, this is seriously several levels above comfort food!

  • http://insideabiritshmumskitchen.blogspot.com Mary

    Oh these ingredients are fantastic, I’m going to wait till everyone is out of the house – then make this! it’s just too yummy to share :))
    Mary x

  • http://chgojohn.wordpress.com ChgoJohn

    This sounds wonderful, Caroline. I was lucky enough to purchase the end of a prosciutto and, chopped, it would be perfect for this dish. I cannot wait to give it a try. Thanks.

  • http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com Choc Chip Uru

    I think more than mastered my friend, this looks like a highly classy dish :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  • http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    Now THAT is some good mac n’ cheese!

  • http://sweetandcrumby.wordpress.com Geni – Sweet and Crumby

    I am in LOVE with this dish…would really like to just pop buy for a little bowl of it. This absolutely comfort food at its most ritzy and glammed up. So very yummy. PS…My son had an interview at Chapman yesterday. That school is so lovely.

    • http://sweetcarolinescooking.wordpress.com Caroline

      Hey, come over any time!! Isn’t it a gorgeous campus? Kind of disgusting how pretty it is now, haha. Best of luck to him! :)

  • egg me on

    Great recipe Caroline! I’d say it looks like you’ve mastered it. Makes me long for a chilly night where I get to hunker down with a big bowl of this.

  • http://thesecondserving.wordpress.com the second serving

    Caroline– yes yes yes! Everything about this is for meeee!!

  • http://ourfamilyfoodadventures.wordpress.com Kristy

    Mmmmmm! I’m drooling! Do you think if I wish hard enough this will be waiting on my table when I get home? I could eat bowls and bowls of this!

  • http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com ceciliag

    love this and love the four cheese one too! c

  • http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.com Angie@Angie’s Recipes

    An ultimate comfort food! Looks delish!

  • http://twitter.com/LisaNutrition Smart Food and Fit (@LisaNutrition)

    I love mac n’ cheese! This would be perfect for me and my hubby, it’s like the adult mac n’ cheese!

  • http://eastofmalaga.net Marianne

    Yummy!

  • http://myinnerchick.com My Inner Chick

    O. YES!
    Love the idea of prosciutto in this recipe. WOWwie. xx

  • http://www.sweetpeaskitchen.com Christina @ Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

    Homemade mac and cheese is the best isn’t it?! I don’t think I could ever go back to the blue box again! I love the addition of the prosciutto…sounds incredible! :)

  • http://elephanteats.com Amy

    This looks great! I love kraft too…as much as I try, I can’t get it to taste anything like that. I mean homemade is delicious but it’s just not the same. However, the addition of prosciuotto couldn’t hurt! ;)

  • http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com Mary

    This sounds fabulous. A good mac n’ cheese is one of God’s gifts to mankind. Yours sounds delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • http://rufusguide.wordpress.com Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

    Guilty pleasures are so funny. I ate Ramen for ages. Katherine used to laugh at this. This mac looks awesome, awesome, awesome!

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  • http://angsarap.wordpress.com rsmacaalay

    prosciutto is a nice addition to a classic mac and cheese, well done

  • http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com The Hook

    Very creative – the title and the dish!

  • http://twitter.com/kbelleicious Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious)

    love love love! The prosciutto sounds amazing with the mac and cheese!

  • http://bakerbynature.com Ashley@Bakerbynature

    Mac and cheese is like the king of my comfort food world… this looks insanely good, Caroline!

  • http://thedrivencook.wordpress.com thedrivencook

    I totally understand…I crave the blue box. But this looks divine!