Barely Buzzed Mac ‘n Cheese
Espresso and lavender notes make this creamy macaroni a unique side to add to any meal.
1/2 lb penne pasta
5 Tbsp butter, divided
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/4 lb Beehive Barely Buzzed Cheddar, shredded
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups heavy cream, divided
1½ cups milk, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb Polly-O smoked mozzarella, shredded
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter an 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the bread crumbs and 1 cup of the Barely Buzzed Cheddar. Mix well, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Wipe out but do not wash skillet. In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a small sauce pot, heat the 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of cream, garlic, parsnips, and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and watching to make sure the cream mixture does not boil. Simmer the parsnips until they are soft (about 15 to 20 minutes). Cool slightly. Place in a blender or food processor and purée. Put the purée back into a pot, add the remaining cup of milk, 1 cup cream, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until slightly thickened and warmed through. Remove from heat and add the smoked mozzarella and the remaining Cheddar, and stir until the sauce is smooth.
Mix the sauce, mushrooms, and pasta together. Pour into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes.