Welsh Rarebit-Style Mac ‘n Cheese
A combination of beer, lemon juice, Worchestershire and hot sauces add zing to delicious mac ‘n cheddar cheese pasta with a topping of toasted buttered parsley breadcrumbs.
- 1 pound short-cut pasta, such as cavatapi (hollow corkscrew shaped pasta) or penne or short-cut whole wheat or whole grain pasta
- 4 slices good quality white bread or pumpernickel bread
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard, such as Coleman’s brand (a couple of palmfuls)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup porter beer
- 1 cup beef or chicken stock
- 2 1/2 cups extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- Black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
Bring the pasta water to a boil; salt the water and cook the pasta for 5-6 minutes, until just shy of al dente.
While the water comes to a boil, place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and arrange the sliced bread. Toast the bread in the oven, then coarsely chop it and add it to a food processor; process into coarse breadcrumbs.
Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Pour half of the butter over the breadcrumbs to moisten them and combine with the parsley. To the remaining butter, add the garlic and gently cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the hot sauce and mustard and stir to combine, then sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and beer; cook the beer out for 30 seconds, then add the stock and bring to a bubble. Thicken for a minute more. Stir in 2 cups of cheese in a figure-eight motion and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Toss the pasta with the Rarebit sauce and spoon into individual baking dishes or a casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs and the remaining sprinkle of cheese, then place on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes, until bubbly and deeply brown on top.