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Snow is falling, temperatures are dropping, and other than rolling ourselves up in a plush blanket so we can binge-watch Lindsay Lohan’s new Christmas movie over and over, the only thing we want to do is chow down on our favorite cozy comfort foods. But it’s the holiday season, so our usual box of Annie’s white cheddar mac and cheese just isn’t going to cut it. We want something special and, dare we say, sophisticated, to quell our cravings. Ina Garten, author of Modern Comfort Food, knows all about this predicament. Thankfully, she has a bunch of jazzed-up macaroni and cheese recipes for when your cravings coincide with holiday entertaining, and her “Grown Up” mac and cheese just might be the tastiest option.
Garten shared the recipe in an episode of her show Barefoot Contessa. It starts off like a classic, made from scratch macaroni and cheese, with a creamy bechamel sauce. She adds gruyere and cheddar cheese, but then comes the first whallop of sophisticated flavor — Garten adds Roquefort, a type of blue cheese, to the sauce. Sorry kids, this batch is not for you.
She doesn’t stop there. Adding a savory, smoky flavor to the mac attack is chopped up slices of crispy bacon. You could even use crispy prosciutto if you wanted to up the sophistication ante a little more, though the smoky flavor won’t be as pronounced.
Garten’s final touch is topping the casserole dish of bacon and Roquefort macaroni and cheese with homemade basil breadcrumbs.
To make things really easy on yourself, you can even make the macaroni and cheese a day ahead of time. Put it in the refrigerator overnight after you’ve sprinkled the dish with breadcrumbs, then pop it in the oven to heat up the next day when you’re ready to eat.
Leave it to Ina Garten to show us how to turn our most base comfort food cravings into something so impressive, we can serve it to company!
Before you go, check out these Ina Garten-Approved holiday gift ideas:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet