A twist on classic comfort food. Roasted and salted pecans mixed with buttery crackers complete an indulgent mac and cheese that’s more than your average side dish.
- ½ cups pecan nuts
- Salt as needed
- 4-½ tablespoons Salted butter, divided
- 3 cups Shellfish Pasta
- ½ cups All purpose flour
- 3 cups Whole milk
- 3 cups Mild cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups Vermont white cheddar, shredded
- 1 packet (about 4 oz. sleeve) Ritz Crackers
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Spread pecans on an aluminum baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and ½ tbsp melted butter. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes; put aside.
In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions until al dente. Drain and reserve.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling and starting to brown, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Continue whisking the roux for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure the roux does not form lumps. Let the mixture cook for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in cheeses, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Add pasta to cheese sauce, coating pasta completely.
Pour the macaroni and cheese into a buttered baking dish. Top with crushed crackers and toasted pecans. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and pour over the pecans and crackers.
Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese begins to bubble.