Macaroni and cheese is the quintessential comfort-food supper; this version, while even simpler to make than the nursery staple, is altogether more elevated. The cheese sauce is almost instant: no roux at its base, just grated cheese mixed with a little cornstarch whisked into wine-lightened chicken broth. For this method, I have the maestro Heston Blumenthal to thank. The broth base stops the sauce-with its three cheeses and truffle butter or oil-from becoming unmanageably rich; the portion size helps, too. My decision to bake the pasta in little ramekins was originally made to speed up cooking time, certainly not to be chichi. Indeed, I usually avoid the individual-portion approach, feeling it not suited to eating at home. Here it works: cute meets cozy and becomes chic. Of course, it's partly the pennette that make it-think enchanting little pixie penne-but if you can't find them, use the small bulging crescents that are chifferi, or indeed regular elbow macaroni, instead.
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