I guess the only thing that makes this “adult” is that it’s not made with cheese powder. And it doesn’t come from a pre-packaged box. And it uses mascarpone. Okay, so many things make this adult, especially the bread crumbs on top. And pats of butter.
The infatuation I have with Gwennie (one of my pet names for Gwenyth Paltrow, the matriarch of GOOP—her “lifestyle” brand) is not the same as that which I have for Gina Homolka. That is to say, it’s describable. I find Gwennie’s jade eggs, “scientific concepts“, $3k dresses, the “conscious uncoupling” from the father of her children, amusing. I find her cookbooks, however, really neat and I own three of them (I also just learned there is a fourth, which has promptly earned a spot on my Amazon wishlist).
This recipe is from My Father’s Daughter and it’s amazing. Do I use that adjective too much? I’m only asking, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop.
This recipe starts out like most mac n cheeses, by boiling a pound of pasta two minutes fewer than the instructions suggest for al dente. This is because it gets baked for 15 minutes, so you don’t want the noodles squishy.
It also calls for a whole bunch of shredded Parmesan (please, do yourself a favor and have bricks of parm, asiago, and romano in your fridge—it keeps forever—and stop buying those plastic jars of pre-crumbled parmesan, which is mostly not even cheese anyway), a small container of mascarpone, a little nutmeg, and some milk.
Once the pasta is done, drain and put back into the pot and pour in the cheesy mixture.
Mix it all up so the nooks of the noodles get coated.
In the book, Gwennie suggests some variations on the theme. One of which is to put a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan that you’re baking in. We thought this was a grand idea, so we used marinara from Costco.
Pour the noodlecheese into the pan and cover with seasoned breadcrumbs (we used panko the first time and it turned out well, but homemade breadcrumbs the second time were a bigger hit).
I thought it looked a little boring and had some grape tomatoes to use up, so I sliced a few and put ’em on top.
Bake, rest, serve, moan with enjoyment. And go buy the book.