Yes, it's no secret that I love mac and cheese. And of course, I love to get creative with leftovers.

With many family members and friends traveling through the holidays and stopping by the house, we had an abundance of cheese for charcuterie boards. Instead of the traditional "Fromage Forte" that I love, Jodi pushed us in the direction of leftover mac and cheese. It was a great call.

I've made cheesy pasta with the leftover fromage forte, but we wanted a traditional mac and cheese for this New Year's leftover dinner.

It started with the cheese. All the cheese: stilton, St. André, brie, cheddar, and many others that I couldn't name because I threw away the packaging.

The key is to cut off any part of the cheese that is hardened or moldy from being left out and exposed (except the blue of course). Some cheeses come with a wrap or rind, you can cut that off as well.

Here's what you have to do:

  • As best you can, grate 2-3 cups of the cheese. Some of the soft cheese may not grate so you can chop it up.
  • Set the cheese aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter on low heat.
  • Add a half of chopped white onion and let it cook low until you can start to see through the onions.
  • Add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. Do not let the garlic burn.
  • Low heat for just about 30-40 seconds is enough.
  • Add white wine.
  • Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and ground mustard.
  • Whisk in flour to thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Once the liquid is bubbling, turn the heat down and slowly add in some heavy cream. Slow is the key so you don't "break" it.
  • In another pot, boil your pasta water. We use protein elbows from Barilla.
  • Undercook the pasta and drain it. Then add to the cheese sauce.
  • In a large casserole dish, butter the bottom and sides.
  • Add in the pasta-cheese mixture.
  • Add some shredded cheese on the top and panko bread crumbs.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.


Bill Spadea's homemade mac and cheese
Bill Spadea's homemade mac and cheese

And if you enjoy my recipes, check out another one here.

Spadea's Sunday Gravy

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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