This is a slightly more sophisticated take on the usual mac-and-cheddar. The Gruyère gives it a robust and nutty flavor, while the Fontina adds an incredible creamy richness.
Technique tip: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before blending.
Swap option: Use your favorite kind of mushrooms here, or a mix. I like a combination of cremini, oyster mushrooms, and hen of the woods but any mushroom will work.
Special equipment: Pressure cooker
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 ounces macaroni
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped chives, for garnish
1. Using the sauté function, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pressure cooker pot. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and set aside. Let the pressure cooker pot cool to room temperature (this is quicker if you remove the pot from the cooker).
2. In a blender, blend the milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the garlic (if using), 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne and nutmeg until smooth.
3. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon softened butter over the bottom and a bit up the sides of the cooled pressure cooker pot. Add the cream cheese mixture and macaroni to the pot and stir to combine.
4. Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Manually release the pressure.
5. Stir the macaroni, adding more milk if it looks too dry. Taste a piece of pasta; if it's too al dente, stir in the mushrooms, Gruyère, fontina and Parmesan, then cover the pot with the lid (but don't lock it on), and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes; the noodles will cook a little more in the residual heat of the pot. Otherwise, add the mushrooms and cheeses and stir until the cheeses melt, then taste and add more salt if necessary. Top with the chives and serve immediately.
"Comfort in an Instant" © 2018 by Melissa Clark. Clarkson Potter/ Penguin Random House, LLC.
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