Recipe: The Gabardine’s creamy, coma-inducing macaroni and cheese

Recipe: The Gabardine’s creamy, coma-inducing macaroni and cheese

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2013: Macaroni and Cheese

By Graham Pratt
The Gabardine

PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOK TIME: 27 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

3 cups dry macaroni


¼ cup butter
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup Parmesan, grated


2 tbsp butter
¼ onion, chopped
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
1 ½ tsp garlic, chopped
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp mustard
½ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 ¾ cups whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup chèvre, crumbled
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
½ cup cheddar, cubed
½ cup mozzarella, cubed

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. The noodles will only be partially done.

2. Drain macaroni, then turn back into pot. Leave at room temperature for at least 45 minutes, allowing residual heat to finish cooking the noodles. They will dry out a little.

3. To prepare bread crumb topping, melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic, chives, tarragon, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 minute. Add bread crumbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes until toasted. Remove from heat. Add Parmesan and stir to combine. Let cool.

4. To prepare sauce, melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, salt, paprika, garlic, nutmeg, mustard, pepper and bay leaf. Cook for 2 minutes until onions are translucent.

5. Stir in flour. Cook, stirring for 2 more minutes until lightly golden. Slowly whisk in 2  cups of cream and all the milk. Cook for 5 to 8 more minutes until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat.

6. When macaroni is ready, preheat oven to 450°F. Add 1 cup cream, Parmesan, goat cheese and half of cheddar and mozzarella to warm sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 2 minutes until cheese has melted and is smoothly incorporated. Stir in remaining cheddar, mozzarella and ¾ cup of cream. Add cooked macaroni. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese begins to melt.

7. Turn sauced macaroni into a small baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb crust. Bake in oven for 6 to 8 minutes until sauce starts to bubble and soak into the noodles, and crust turns golden. Serve warm.

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2013: Macaroni and Cheese
A dash of smoked paprika cuts through this recipe’s ultra-rich filling. We like La Chinata for its subtly sweet kick; you can find cans of it at most gourmet grocery stores.

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2013: Macaroni and CheeseGRAHAM PRATT

Chef Graham Pratt didn’t set out to make mac and cheese his signature menu item, but the dish, with its garlicky crust, creamy béchamel filling and coma-inducing blend of chèvre, Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar, has quickly become a lunchtime legend. It’s responsible for at least a few belt-buckle adjustments among the Bay Street crowd—Pratt can’t believe people finish it and return to the office. Home cooks, on the other hand, can make the dish for dinner and go straight to bed.

Recipes developed by Victoria Walsh. Recipe photography by Raina and Wilson. Illustrations by Aleksandar Janicijevic. Interviews by Meaghan Binstock, Chantal Braganza, Matthew Hague, Peter Saltsman, Courtney Shea and Caroline Youdan.