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Ultimate Mac and Cheese



ULTIMATE MAC and CHEESE
Baker's Square Copycat Recipe

8 ounces cavatappi, macaroni, or other tube shaped pasta
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for cooking pasta
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
7 ounces gruyère, grated
3 ounces aged gouda, grated
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 ounces crusty sourdough bread (about 1/4 loaf), torn into large pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of boiling, well salted water until tender to the bite. Drain, but do not rinse. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan.  Add shallots and cook until light golden. Sprinkle shallot butter mixture with flour; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add the wine and stir, picking up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add cream and stir well.  Sprinkle in the cheeses, stirring until each handful is mostly melted before adding the next.  Stir in 2 tablespoons chives, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. Stir cooked pasta into cheese mixture. Pour all into a 2 quart baking dish.
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In a food processor, pulse bread with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon chives, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until coarse bread crumbs form.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over pasta and cheese.
Bake until top is browned and cheese is bubbling.

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