Mac and Cheese

1 pound penne rigate
4 cups half and half
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for garnishing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
16 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
6 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
2 ounces Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook at a
rolling boil until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water,
drain again and set aside in a large bowl.

Bring the half and half just to a boil in a heavy saucepan and set
aside. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another heavy saucepan. Add
the flour, and whisk over low heat for 5 minutes. Do not brown.
Remove from the heat. Add the hot liquid to the flour mixture, and
whisk well. Add the paprika, season with the salt and pepper, and
return the pan to a low heat. Add half of all of the cheeses and
stir until combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly,
until the mixture thickens; about 5 minutes. Add sauce to the
pasta. Toss well to coat completely.

Coat a large baking dish/casserole with olive oil, and fill it with
half of the sauced pasta. Distribute half of the remaining cheese
evenly over the pasta. Repeat layering. Place the dish on a baking
sheet, and bake in a preheated oven until hot, lightly browned and
bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 10


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