Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Five mac and cheese

Make it loaded! Add shredded, smoked pork shoulder and Calabrian chiles to the finished dish.

Sean Venus
Venus Spirits Cocktails & Kitchen, Santa Cruz

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1 lb. orecchiette pasta
1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 tbsp. finely minced shallots
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. paprika
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated manchego cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup crumbled cornbread
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and set aside. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a separate pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add shallots and garlic, and lightly sweat but do not brown them. Add paprika and stir until well incorporated. Stir in cream and bring to a slow simmer. Do not boil. Once cream is simmering, add cheeses a third at a time and whisk until well incorporated. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. While blending, add mustard. Stir together pasta and cheese sauce, transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle crumbled cornbread evenly over the top. Broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to burn crumble. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Photo: © 2021 Tomas Ovalle

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