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Jamie Oliver’s Macaroni and Cheese

October 27, 2011

There are many different variations of Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve always been drawn to versions that use sharp Cheddar cheese, but last night I made one that had no Cheddar.

The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook. Laura and Byron had made the recipe and highly recommended it. With four different kinds of cheese, it sounded like it had to be especially good.

This Macaroni and Cheese is pretty simple to make once you have found the right ingredients. I think most well-stocked supermarkets should carry the Parmigiano-Reggiano, fontina, mascarpone, and mozzarella cheeses.

Jamie makes the sauce in a skillet with the cooked pasta, and then he puts it in a casserole for the oven. I used my 12-inch cast iron skillet and just put it in the oven to bake and then broil for a couple of minutes. It worked quite well.

We really enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s Macaroni and Cheese. This is definitely a recipe that I would make again. Try it when you want a “mac and cheese” that’s easy and yet a bit more sophisticated than most.


 Thanks to Laura for taking this great photo!a


Jamie Oliver’s Macaroni and Cheese

(Adapted from a recipe in Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook)


(print the recipe)


Serves 4 – 6

1 lb. macaroni (I actually used gemelli)

2 tablespoons butter

1 small bunch fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked (I used oregano.)

3 ½ oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to grate over the top

3 ½ oz fontina or taleggio cheese, roughly torn or chopped (I used fontina.)

3 ½ oz mascarpone cheese

¼ of a fresh nutmeg to grate over the top (Optional; I didn’t use it.)

1 small ball fresh mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚.

2. Clean and chop the oregano.

3. Put the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, fontina, and mascarpone in a bowl so they’re ready to use when you need them.


4. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 2 minutes less than the cooking time on the package. (My gemelli said to cook for 12 minutes; I cooked it for 10.)

5. While the pasta’s cooking, heat the butter in a large skillet. When it starts to foam, add the oregano and cook for a minute or so, until it starts to crisp. If the pasta is not quite done, remove the skillet from the heat.


6. When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving some of the cooking water.

7. Put the drained pasta, a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking water, and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, fontina, and mascarpone cheese in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese has melted into a sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if it seems too dry.

8. Season to taste with salt and pepper and turn into a baking dish. (Or just leave it in the skillet if you’re using an oven- and broiler-proof skillet, like cast iron.)

9. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and put them over the top, and sprinkle with some extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.


A *horrible* picture, but it shows you the mozzerella distributed on top.


10. Bake for about 10 minutes.

11. Turn the broiler on, and move the oven rack closer to the broiler. Broil for a minute or two until it has started to brown and crisp on the top. Watch closely to keep from burning it.


22 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    October 27, 2011 3:00 pm

    YUM! I want thirds 🙂

    • October 27, 2011 3:18 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation from you and Byron. It’s a “keeper”! 😉

  2. October 27, 2011 3:19 pm

    Wow, this looks delicious, love the cheese variation. I am going to have to make this.

  3. October 27, 2011 6:02 pm

    This looks great. Thanks for sharing. J.O. has so many great recipes.

  4. October 27, 2011 7:24 pm

    I am very particular with my mac and cheese. I have used the same recipe for yeeeears! But I am def saving this recipe to try out and break my same-ol’ cycle!

  5. October 28, 2011 2:36 am

    Oh, my. I remember one year that I was obsessive compulsive about entering (and winning) a mac ‘n cheese recipe contest. Alas, none of my many concoctions one. However, this sounds like a winner. One of the nephews LOVES mac ‘n cheese. Will have to make this for him over the holidays.

  6. October 28, 2011 8:49 am

    Oh this looks good, I know it was good with all that cheese. I’m trying to lay off that a bit too, lol. Oh the perils of loving to cook and eat the finished product. Hope you have a great weekend on Treats no Tricks.

  7. October 28, 2011 9:43 am

    Looks great-I love the different cheese that were ussed.

  8. October 31, 2011 9:45 am

    Yum! The best ‘quattro fromagio’ I’ve seen !

  9. November 3, 2011 6:15 am

    Oh my god this looks so amazing. Drooling over here! I haven’t had a real mac & cheese in sooooo long. Definitely have to try this out.

  10. charlie permalink
    February 7, 2014 11:01 am

  11. July 2, 2014 8:05 pm

    When I make this I tend to sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and oregano into the bottom of a glass or earthenware baking pan and spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese at the bottom before taking the macaroni form the skillet and putting it into the pan.

    Absolutely awesome.

  12. Demetria permalink
    November 21, 2014 5:43 am

    I want to try it but I prefer my mac ‘n cheese to have a cheesy sauce consistency. Seems like this is missing milk or something to give it a saucy consistency. Any thoughts?

    • November 21, 2014 6:05 am

      The 14.5 ounces of cheese become a very cheesy sauce when it’s all melted. It’s delicious; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 🙂

  13. linny permalink
    April 27, 2015 5:52 pm

    If I need to freeze it, should I freeze it before cooking it?

    • April 27, 2015 6:22 pm

      I’ve never tried freezing it, but I found a discussion about it on a Washington Post board. There it’s suggested that you bake it, let it cool, and then cut into individual portions. To avoid freezer burn, double wrap each piece in plastic wrap, then wrap well in aluminum foil, and finally put each piece in a dated and labeled freezer bag. You can check the link for more tips. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it worked for you!

  14. Lori Londa permalink
    May 9, 2015 12:43 pm

    Would it work to make the day before and then heat in the oven the next day?

    • May 9, 2015 12:49 pm

      I think that would work just fine if you followed the recipe through step #8 and put it in a baking dish. I wouldn’t keep it overnight in a cast iron pan.


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