Daphne Oz's Cuban Sandwich Mac N' Cheese

Indulge in your mac n' cheese craving with this delectably cheesy recipe. A combination of gooey, cheesy penne and ingredients from a classic Cuban sandwich make the perfect combo. The hints of spice and delicious ham are bound to be your new obsession!

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1 lb penne pasta
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp dry mustard
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 cup white cheddar
2 cups gruyere
2 cups ham, cubed
2 tbsp hot sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped pickles
2 Cuban rolls, toasted and crumbled into breadcrumbs (or 4 potato rolls)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.


2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta 3 minutes under the package instructions. Strain the pasta and rinse to cool.


3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour and cook until a paste forms, about 3 minutes.


4. Stir in the mustard and then pour in the milk and cream. Bring this to just a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.


5. Stir in the cheddar, gruyere, and ham and add hot sauce to taste.


6. Stir in the pickles and the pasta.


7. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into a sauté pan and melt. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat.


8. Place the mac n' cheese into a baking dish or bake it right in the Dutch oven. Top the mac n' cheese with the buttered breadcrumbs and place into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until bubbling around the edges. Serve.