Stovetop Mac and Cheese with cheese crisps
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Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Cheese Crisps

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups), grated
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • salt


  • Set aside 1 cup of extra-sharp cheddar. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, drop cheese in pan to form 8 mounds of cheese. (You may have to do them in 2 batches.) As you drop the cheese spread it out in the shape of a 4-inch pancake. Cook until lacey and golden and then flip over carefully using a flexible spatula. You may mess up the shape of the first few while you are getting the hang of it, but they will still taste good. Cook for about 1 minute on the second side and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain.
  • In a very large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until bubbling and the raw taste of the flour has had a chance to cook out. Add the paprika and white pepper.
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking rapidly to keep the mixture smooth. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until thick and creamy.
  • Stir in the remaining 1 cup of cheddar and the fontina and cook over low heat until the cheese melts.
  • Remove from heat and stir in mascarpone cheese and add salt to taste. Add pasta to sauce and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until hot. Serve with cheese crisps.