Grown-Up Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

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I’m usually not a big fan or mac and cheese, but this Three Cheese Mac and Cheese recipe is so sophisticated and grown up it might as well be in it’s own mac and cheese realm. Goat cheese, white cheddar, Parmesan, thyme, lemon. Need I say more?

Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

3/4 pound penne
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
5-ounce log goat cheese
3 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 extra large egg yolk

Preheat oven to 400º.  Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring heavy cream, onion and garlic to a simmer.

Transfer 1/2 cup of the cream to a medium bowl and gradually whisk in flour; return mixture to saucepan.  Set the bowl aside for later.

Whisk over moderate heat until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in goat cheese, cheddar and half of the Parmigiano until melted.

Stir in the sour cream, zest and 1 teaspoon thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Add egg yolk to medium bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup cheese sauce.  Whisk egg/sauce mixture back into saucepan.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly.

Add pasta to cast-iron skillet and sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.  Sprinkle with remaining thyme.

Rest for about 5 minutes and serve.

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