Tuscany-style mac & cheese

Menu Part: 
Entree
Cuisine Type: 
American
Serves: 
12

Ryan Conklin, executive chef, says this take on mac and cheese is served in the retail café at a cook-to-order station. Conklin developed the recipe to take advantage of the fresh basil grown in the hospital’s garden. Conklin says that being in the South, mac and cheese is “very dear to our customers. But we sometimes like to trick it out a bit and offer a mac and cheese bar that enables us to introduce some new flavors but keep with the comfort food concept that makes it so popular.”

Ingredients

2 pounds cooked gemelli pasta
4 cups Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
½ cup prosciutto ham, cut into thin strips
½ cup medium-dice roasted red peppers
½ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
1 cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese

Gorgonzola cheese sauce
Yield: 6 cups
5 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. all purpose flour
4 cups milk, hot
2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg 

Steps

Gorgonzola cheese sauce
1. In saucepan, heat butter on medium heat until melted. Stir flour into butter and mix well for 6 to 7 minutes, until it turns golden brown color.

2. One cup at a time, add hot milk. Mix well so there aren’t lumps. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Mix in cheese, grated nutmeg and salt, and simmer until cheese is melted.

Mac and cheese
1. Toss pasta with cheese sauce and mix well.

2. Mix in prosciutto, peppers and fresh basil.

3. Toss breadcrumbs with Asiago cheese and top pasta mixture evenly. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, until golden brown color is achieved. 

Recipe by Rex UNC Healthcare (Raleigh, N.C.) 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

K-12 foodservice participating in federal nutrition programs soon could fall into some extra cheese. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to buy 11 million pounds of cheese to raise plummeting prices, the result of a dairy glut. The acquired product will be distributed to federal nutrition programs, which might include WIC, SNAP and Child Nutrition Programs, and food banks.

The purchase falls short of a call from Congress, unions, special interest groups and commodity organizations for a $150 million buyout of dairy assets to mitigate the 35% drop in dairy revenues—a 30-year...

Ideas and Innovation
cardboard takeout box

The death knell keeps ringing for polystyrene containers. A story Monday in the Chicago Tribune reports that a man who provided free recycling for the foam products in 10 area communities is shutting down his services, citing expense and logistical difficulties, and leaving few options for diverting the material from landfills.

“From a business perspective, there is no market for [recycled polystyrene foam]. It's difficult to sell,” Beth Lang, facilities and general services manager at the Recycling Drop-Off Center in Naperville, Ill., told the Tribune. “The second reason, and more...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at Martin Luther College will be able to cook their own food in the cafeteria this year, thanks to the addition of a new self-cook station installed during the cafeteria’s renovation, The Journal reports.

In addition to the self-cook station, which contains induction cookers, the revamped cafeteria at the New Ulm, Minn., school will include new pizza equipment, a panini grill, tiled floors, poured countertops and new arrangements to make the cafeteria appear more open.

"We wanted to make it look more like a restaurant and not like a cafeteria," Director of Dining...

Industry News & Opinion

Two chefs at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., are trying to help solve the Mars food dilemma, myfoxspokane.com reports .

Just outside the school’s cafeteria, Executive Chef Timothy Grayson and his partner, Christine Logan-Travis, are trying their hand at growing tomatoes, oregano, basil and other plants in Martian Regolith Soil, the closest soil on Earth to that found on the fourth planet from the sun.

All of the plants in the Mars-inspired garden are intended for human consumption.

“It is a reality that at some point, if man goes to Mars, they will need to...

FSD Resources