This mac strikes the perfect balance between creamy and cheesy. The sauce itself is thick and rich, like any good bechamel, but there’s also a ton of melted cheese in the dish, which makes for a nice textural balance. The cheese blend itself is made with many different varieties, but the Swiss shines through the most (though there’s a nice Gouda and Parmesan kick as well). A delicate sprinkling of breadcrumbs completes the dish, giving a little crunch to the top layer of noodle.
As you can see from the photo, this mac is made with penne, an excellent choice as the shape can hold sauce in its hollow as well as within the ridges on the outside of the pasta. The penne in this dish is cooked beyond al dente, but the soft pasta paired with the decadent sauce just makes it more comforting, in my opinion. Al dente penne sometimes doesn’t hold cheese sauce as well, anyway.
Side note: E.A.T. does all carb and cheese pairings well: the grilled cheese here is one of the best in the city.
E.A.T., 1064 Madison Ave., 212-772-0022