Photo: Quentin Bacon
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, Gruyère and Parmigiano Reggiano—to brown and bubble.
DirectionsActive time: 30 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Preheat oven and a shallow ovenproof baking dish to 400° F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta to al dente. Strain but do not rinse. Simultaneously, in 2-quart, heavy-bottomed stockpot, whisk butter and flour together over medium heat to make a blonde roux. Add milk and heavy cream; whisk until boiling. Add all the cheese, reserving ½ cup of Parmigiano Reggiano; stir until mixture is melted evenly throughout.
Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture, season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove hot baking dish from oven and butter it evenly while hot. Add entire contents to buttered baking dish, sprinkle top with reserved Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, until top is browned. Serve immediately.
Published on March 08, 2012