Two classic foods join forces in this dish from chef Brandon McGlamery of Orlando's Luma on Park restaurant. He makes a smooth gruyere béchamel and folds in pieces of braised short rib, black pepper and grated horseradish, then tosses it with rigatoni (which has ridges that are perfect for holding onto the cheese).
Glenn Harris, executive chef and co-owner of The Smith, which has two locations in New York City, uses a shallow baking dish to make this showstopper. That means there's maximum surface area for the cheese--a mix of cheddar, fontina, gruyere and parmigiano reggiano--to brown and bubble.
Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef at Hill Country Barbecue Market, which has outposts in New York and Washington, DC, has figured out a way to marry the flavor of mac and cheese with one of its classic accompaniments: smoked, barbecued meat.
With roasted butternut squash and sage mixed in to the pasta and cheese sauce, plus a sage-breadcrumb topping, this casserole from chef Mitch Rosenthal's book "Cooking My Way Back Home" has a delightful balance of textures.