Cooking pasta in parchment paper makes for an unusual dish. I am taking boring mac and cheese and trying to make it more interesting. The parchment paper allows the flavors to be absorbed one into another while keeping ingredients moist. I have suggested substitutions for the cheeses used.
4 cups milk
1 pound good-quality maccaroni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup corn flour (corn starch)
3/4 cup emmental (or Gruyere or Provolone) cheese cut in cubes
3/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (or stilton or the cheaper danish blue)
1 1/2cup Parmesan cheese, shaved (or romano if you find parmesan too expensive
1/3 lb goat's milk cheese ( feta or Cotija or any other goat's cheese you prefer )
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Six 24 by 13-inch sheets parchment paper
1. Bring the milk to a quick boil and take off the heat
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the maccaroni and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and keep in colander.
3. Make a bechamel sauce: Melt the butter. Take off the heat and the flour, stirring continuously until no lumps remain. Add 3 tbs of the warmed milk. Put back on the heat. Add the rest of the milk stirring continuously ( I use a whisk here). Lower the heat to medium. Continue to stir until the sauce is thick (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the cheeses to the bechamel. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine. DO not leave the sauce on its own as it will stick to the bottom so keep whisking!Add the salt and pepper.
5. Put the maccaroni to the pasta pot or in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta. Stir to combine. Let cool.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Divide the maccaroni into 6 equal portions and place in the center of the parchment. Pick up each corner of the paper squares and twist on the top to make a package with a twist on top (!!). Place the bundles on a baking sheet with sides. Bake until the parchment turns pale brown and you can almost see the pasta turn brownish gold through the paper, about 45 minutes.
7. Serve immediately.