Creamy Mac n’ Cheese

Keep the defibrillator nearby…
Adapted from Rachel Ray magazine.

2 T butter
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups heavy cream
1- 8 oz. container cheddar cheese spread (yeah… that stuff in a tub!)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar
1 lb shells or elbow macaroni
1 cup panko plus 1 T butter
chopped parsley for garnish if desired (I did not desire the extra work…)

In a large saucepan, heat the butter along with the two powders; add the wine, bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates. Add the broth and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes; add all the cheeses and cook over low heat, whisking until smooth. While you are doing this cook the pasta following the instructions for al dente. At this point, I will tell you that the cheese sauce will be very thin– add the pasta; if you are like me, you want to get this done a little bit before you are serving it to make the timing easier. The advantage of the thin liquid is that the pasta can sit in there for a bit and absorb the liquid- it is also easier to keep it warm this way rather than getting a gloppy, gluey mess with a too-thick sauce.

In a medium skillet melt the 1 T butter and add the panko crumbs; cook tossing constantly until browned but not burned. Sprinkle the crumbs over the mac n’ cheese. Yum!

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