Over the Top Mac and Cheese
by Celebrity Pastry Chef Slade Grove

I will admit this recipe is a little work and you’ll use a few pans in the process but the trouble and the pan mess is well worth the work. This will be an amazing dish that you’ll want to share with your friends and family or that one special person with a nice bottle of wine.

A while back I was wandering around my local gourmet food store and I noticed a pasta that I hadn’t seen before and thought wow! what a great “shell” for a mac and cheese dish.  It reminded me of a little bowl perfect to hold some gooey goodness of a beautifully craft cheese sauce with some a hint of caramelized onions. After googling the name of the pasta, I discovered it’s actually fashioned after a little ear and wasn’t a “shell.” But oh well… it’s perfect for this recipe.

The pasta that I discovered is called Orecchiette, which according to Wikapedia: Orecchiette (singular: orecchietta) is a kind of home-made pasta typical of Puglia or Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. Its name comes from its shape, which reminds one of a small ear. In Southern Italy, women sit outdoors in the spring and make the dough into small cylinders, which they cut into little cubes. Then they press down each cube with their right thumb, dragging it on the board, thus making it curl slightly [at this stage you have a ‘strascinata’]. Then they insert their thumb on the reverse side, making it pop out with a little convex bulge.

I will admit this recipe is a little work and you’ll use a few pans in the process but the trouble and the pan mess is well worth the work. This will be an amazing dish that you’ll want to share with your friends and family or that one special person in front of the fireplace with a nice bottle of wine.

Enough technical stuff, it’s get this dish on the cook top and have some amazing mac and cheese.

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