Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs
By: Sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen, owners and founders of Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie bakery in Brooklyn
Serving Size: 6
Cook Time: 50 mins
Here’s a fun spin on a holiday staple! With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this macaroni and cheese is extra creamy, extra creative and extra delicious. Sprinkle with a mixture of blended pecans and cheddar cheese to add a crunchy finish to this family favorite dish.
1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
8 ounces cavatappi pasta
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounce block of cheddar cheese
15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 to 4 tablespoons pasta cooking water
- Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- Cook cavatappi in salted boiling water. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to cooking pot and stir in butter.
- While pasta is cooking, shred cheddar cheese on a box grater.
- Using a food processor, combine ¼ cup of shredded cheese with pecans. Process until a coarse breadcrumb consistency.
- Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to the warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add egg, stir. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons pasta water to loosen mixture, stir until smooth.
- Pour into a buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan/cheddar topping.
- Bake for 30 minutes.