Mario Batali's Moist and Crunchy Mac and Cheese

Best Foods


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Hellmann's or Best Foods Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (shredded, divided)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 Tbsp. salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stove top. Cook the pasta to 2 minutes short of the package instructions and then remove to ice bath and chill. Drain and toss with vegetable oil.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, nutmeg and paprika and stir for about 5 minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Whisk in the milk; bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil, the egg and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheddar into the cooled sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir the cooked and cooled penne into the cheese mixture and pour into a 2-qt. casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar.
  4. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan and then add the olive oil and toss until the texture of moist sand. Spread bread crumb mixture over top of casserole.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling inside with a golden brown crust on top. Remove from oven and allow to rest a few minutes before serving.
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