After being bombarded by adverts for Pizzareia Uno and their new "lobster" menu, including Lobster macaroni, I thought I should give this lofty dish my personal touch and perhaps lift what has to be a poor substitute for a great idea and bring it to you.
I know it is summer and the thought of a plate of bubbling, steamy cheese laden pasta might turn even the heartiest of tummies, however I found a relatively cool night a few days ago and thought this would be the chance to give it a run.
Also, trying this now will help to ensure it's coming out perfect the next frost covered day on the calendar. You can substitute any pasta you choose,, I prefer the largest Penne or Rigatoni you can find and in this case, boxed is a better choice than fresh as it holds better under baking and certainly when reheating, that is, if, a big IF, there happen to be any leftovers.
If you have never made Mac N' Cheese from scratch is does require a few simple techniques that if you don't have in your bag of tricks, you should and soon will. You will need to make a Bechamel sauce, one of the "Mother" sauces, for a base in your mac n' cheese. Do not fear as this is easier than is sounds and will come in handy. Your "Mother" sauce will turn into a Mornay sauce with the addition of cheese.
Bechamel is basically a roux, (equal parts flour and butter, cooked for 5 minutes to remove the raw starch flavor), and half and half or milk,, (note, non fat will not do the trick,, this is not a Jenny Craig recipe). Once you have "cooked" your roux, add the milk/ half & half, bring to boil, while stirring and lower heat. At this point you can add the cheese, slowly stirring it in to avoid clumps.
MAC N' CHEESE ROYAL
1 PINT HALF AND HALF
3 Tbl BUTTER
3 Tbl FLOUR
1 Tsp LOBSTER BASE, available at most grocery store
2 Tsp OF SMOKED PAPRIKA
A PINCH NUTMEG
SALT AND PEPPER
1 CUP OF GRATED GRUYERE CHEESE
1 CUP OF GRATED FONTINA CHEESE
3/4 LBS OF PENNE/RIGATONI (or CHEFS CHOICE) of PASTA
1/2 TO 3/4 Lbs OF FRESH COOKED LOBSTER
5 BASIL LEAVES CHOPPED
1 CUP OF FRESH CORN, COOKED AND CUT FROM THE COB
1/2 STICK OF BUTTER
1 CUP OF RITZ CRACKER CRUMBS
2 CLOVES OF GARLIC (minced)
JUICE OF HALF A LEMON
Cook flour and butter together for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning, add lobster base, nutmeg and paprika, Milk or half and half, bring to a boil, again, careful not to burn and shut off. Slowly mix in cheese and basil, season to taste with salt and pepper.
While your waiting for your Mornay sauce to come together you can cook the pasta, drain and cool, keeping your pasta a little al dente', remember it is going to bake.
For the ritz crust, melt the butter and garlic, add ritz crumbs, lemon and S & P
Now that you have all the parts all you need do is assemble. I used a Pyrex dish, (9x6), but anything you have will work and for this dish, the prettier, the better. It is a nice dish to serve whole at the table and let people dig in for themselves. Pour in 1/2 your pasta and half of your sauce, then evenly place lobster in dish, cover with remaining pasta and sauce, loosely top with ritz crackers and bake, covered at 350 degrees for 1/2 an hour, uncover and baked until crust is golden brown, let cool 5 minutes and serve.
You be the judge, i have never been to Pizzareia Uno, but I am guess after this dish you won't feel the need to either...enjoy and make enough for everyone!