Macaroni and cheese for two makes a simple, yet lovely meal when paired with a green salad, bread and a glass of wine. I prefer to make it in a cast-iron skillet because it holds the heat so well. One time I served it on the table straight from the skillet with two forks and my husband and I devoured it right out of the pan. It was delicious to eat it that way because it stayed so hot throughout the whole meal. We had to blow on almost every bite. It was also kind of fun to fight over the larger pieces of lobster with our forks…a kind of forky swordplay if you will.
It’s that easy: When making lobster for dinner, cook an extra lobster or two and freeze the meat so that you can make dishes like this really quick and easy.
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 6 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 shallot
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and reserved
- 8 oz. cavatappi or elbow macaroni, about 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed in the microwave
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyère
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat, from two tails and four claws, chopped
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange one of the racks in the center.
- Fill a 12-inch frying pan with water (up to about 1-inch from the top) and heat it over high heat, covered, until it boils.
- While the water comes to a boil, slice the prosciutto, chop the shallot and Swiss chard stems and place them all in a bowl. Chop the Swiss chard leaves and set them aside. Measure out the macaroni, butter, flour, milk, salt and nutmeg separately. Measure out the goat cheese, Parmesan and Gruyère in one bowl. Warm the milk in the microwave.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in the microwave and stir in the panko. Set aside.
- Now you’re ready to cook: Add about 2 teaspoons salt to the boiling water and toss in the macaroni. Stir gently once or twice so that it doesn’t stick. Don’t cook it until it’s completely tender because it will finish cooking in the oven. So, if the box says to cook them for 9 minutes, check them in 7. Scoop a noodle out of the water, run it under cold water and bite it. There should be a firm white dot of uncooked pasta in the center…just not quite cooked through. Drain the pasta in a strainer and run cold water over it to cool it down and keep it from clumping.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and melt another 2 tablespoons butter. Add the bowl of prosciutto, onion and chard stems and toss it around in the pan until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the leaves and cook until they wilt, another 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables back to the bowl.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. When melted, add the flour and 1/4 tsp./1.25 ml. salt. Cook until the flour becomes foamy, about 1 minute, stirring and whisk in the milk. Stir the sauce until it becomes saucy, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses, nutmeg and a grind or two of pepper, stirring until they are melted. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if it needs it. Stir in the pasta, cooked vegetables, heavy cream and cooked lobster and sprinkle the buttery breadcrumbs over the top.
- Bake the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until it is bubbly and lightly browned on top. If you have the time to cook it a few minutes longer, the top will get even more crispy. You can also run it under the broiler for a moment. Serve the mac and cheese in shallow heated bowls or eat it right from the pan.