The Gusti Parmigiano Mac & Cheese

Is Mac & Cheese part of the “traditional” Italian repertoire? No. Do we love using outstanding Italian ingredients to make non-Italian recipes? Hell yes. Mac & Cheese is baked pasta, and that’s something Italians know a thing or two about. The key factor that Americans get wrong again and again? Overcooking the pasta! Please, we implore you to undercook your pasta before you add the rest of the ingredients. It’ll finish cooking in the oven, we promise.

In this case, Gemelli Faella cook by slowly absorbing a Vacche Rosse Cheese-infused béchamel as they bake in the oven. This way, the umami richness of the sauce really permeates the entire dish. We’ve chosen Gemelli for their bouncy texture and hollow shape, but you could substitute another suitable pasta corta.


TIME: 45 minutes




Make the béchamel:

  1. Warm the milk in the microwave or a small saucepan, you don’t want it to be cold when you add it to your flour + butter. Meanwhile melt the 4 tbsp butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until the raw aroma disappears (about 2 minutes).
  2. Gradually add the warmed milk, whisking well until the mixture is smooth. Stir and cook over medium-low for 10 minutes or so, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before whisking in 2/3 of the grated Vacche Rosse cheese. Taste and season with fine sea salt if desired.

Cook the pasta:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the Gemelli pasta for 5 minutes, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. Butter a 23×28 / 9×11 baking dish or similar.
  3. Dump the precooked Gemelli into a large mixing bowl, then stir in 1/3 of the grated fontina. Add the cheesy béchamel and a splash of pasta water, followed by the remaining fontina. Stir until the mixture is uniform, adding more pasta water to keep the mixture fairly loose.
  4. Pour into the greased baking dish and sprinkle the remaining grated Vacche Rosse cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes, broiling for the final 2 minutes if you like the top extra crispy. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

vacche rosse cheese bechamel