This recipe comes from the cookbook "One Pan, Two Plates", which has some absolutely amazing-looking recipes. However, from the moment I received it I simply couldn't believe the dishes inside were truthfully 2 servings. As soon as I started this one, I had a sinking feeling about how many days this was going to have to be eaten (2 Cups of elbow mac is way more than 2 servings, according to the box of pasta it's just over 4 servings). But I had purchased all the ingredients, looked forward to it for ages, and can't review a book without cooking from it, so I went ahead. This is ridiculously oversized. The only way this serves two is if one of them is a horse.
- 2 C elbow macaroni
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 6 thin slices prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
- 1/2 C panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 C warm milk
- 1/3 C crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 C grated Parmesan
- 1/3 C shredded Gruyere
- pinch grated nutmeg
- freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in center.
2. Fill 12-inch ovenproof skillet with water up to about 1 inch from the top. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tsp salt and toss in macaroni. Stir once or twice to keep pasta from sticking.
3. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook at gentle boil until almost cooked through, chewy but not tough (about 2 minutes less time than the package calls for). Drain and run cold water over pasta to stop cooking and avoid clumping.
4. Add 2 Tbsp butter to pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and toss in pan until crispy, about 2 minutes. Transfer prosciutto to plate. Put panko in a small bowl, pour hot butter from pan over panko and toss to coat.
5. Return pan to medium-high heat and add remaining 2 Tbsp butter. When butter is melted, sprinkle in flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook, stirring, until flour becomes foamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk, and stir until mixture is thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and all all three cheeses, nutmeg, and pepper, stirring until cheeses are melted. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in macaroni and prosciutto until pasta is coated and prosciutto is evenly distributed. Smooth top and sprinkle panko over top.
6. Transfer to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until juices are bubbly and top is lightly browned.
Robyn's notes: so many problems with this. I don't give a lot of 1-star ratings, so clearly I had some issues. We'll start with the two things that were entirely my own fault: a 12-inch cast-iron skillet full of food or water is beyond my ability to easily lift. I'm disabled, and I get that this is not a problem for many cooks, but trying to move a heavy skillet full of boiling water from the stove to the sink so I can drain it was dangerous. Secondly, my oven is not full-size. It's not tiny, but it is slightly smaller than a normal oven, which means I don't have a burner large enough to accommodate a 12-inch skillet. Ok, those are the only things that were my own issues. I was very careful about the heat level, especially since my burner is small, but when I added the first butter in step 4, it smoked up fast and sudden and started to burn immediately. I did the best I could with it, but that meant the prosciutto was given a slight burnt taste, as was the panko. The sauce looked luscious and thick and creamy and cheesy when I stirred in the mac and prosciutto, but when the pan came out of the oven there was no sauce left. The noodles were just dry, and basically have no flavour. Any bite without a bit of prosciutto in it is bland bland bland. Since this is, as I said above, way more than two servings, and the cheeses and prosciutto were not cheap, I will be eating this terribly bland meal at least once a day for the next couple days. I am not happy.
* 1 Star: Not Too Good. Neither of us liked this enough for me to bother making it again without complete overhaul