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Sage Butter Macaroni and Four Cheese

Pasta is an easy go-to weeknight meal, and Aida shows us three innovative twists on classic pasta dishes. Sage Butter Macaroni and Four Cheese is a decadent and delicious take on mac and cheese. Pasta With Citrus-Herb Sauce is a light tangle of thin spaghetti and fresh herbs. Then it’s a crowd pleaser — Rigatoni With Creamy Eggplant and Mozzarella.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
InActive Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ease of Preparation: easy
Total Preparation Time: 7 Minutes 
Total Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for baking dish 
  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup) 
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs 
  • 1 pound macaroni 
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced sage 
  • 6 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese 
  • 4 ounces shredded aged Cheddar 
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese 
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

Method

  1. Heat oven to broil and arrange rack in top. Butter a 9 by 9-inch baking dish and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and mix in a medium bowl with 1 cup of the Parmigiano and all the bread crumbs until thoroughly moistened; set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for half the time indicated on package.
  3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add sage and cook until crisp and butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until pasta is ready. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta.
  4. Return pasta to pot and place over low heat. Stir in sage butter, reserved pasta water, remaining 3 cups Parmigiano, Gruyere, Cheddar, mascarpone, and salt, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Stir constantly until cheeses are evenly melted and the pasta looks well coated. Turn pasta into baking dish and evenly top with bread crumb mixture. Place under broiler until mixture bubbles and top is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.;