Barish’s Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe


This baked mac and cheese recipe comes to us from Armen Ayvazyan, the executive chef of Nancy Silverton’s Hollywood steakhouse, the Barish. One of the standout dishes on the restaurant’s pasta al forno menu, the popular casserole is finished with a splash of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a quick blast in a hot wood-fired oven that results in a satisfying crispy crust. We find the recipe works great in a regular household oven or grill. Serve cooked pasta as is or customize the recipe by stirring in a few ounces of your favorite protein before cooking. Silverton suggests lobster meat or prosciutto.

Featured in “Don’t Skip the Crispy Carbs at Nancy Silverton’s Wood-Fired Hollywood Steakhouse”.

Crispy Torchio with Gruyère, Gouda and Fontina

The ultimate melty, gooey, and crunchy macaroni and cheese recipe.

Yield: serves 10


1 hour, 40 minutes


  • 8 cups whole milk

  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled

  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 7 tbsp. Butter without salt

  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 12 oz. finely grated fontina

  • 8 oz. finely grated young gouda cheese

  • 6 oz. Finely grated Gruyere

  • Kosher salt

  • 2¼ lb dried torchio pasta

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 2oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add milk, onion, black pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

  2. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl, then strain the infused milk through it, removing any solids. Put aside.

  3. Rinse the pan then put it on medium-low heat and add the butter. When the foam begins to subside, stir in the flour. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it smells lightly toasted and just begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Slowly begin whisking the infused milk into the roux a little at a time. Once all the milk has been added, increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, and until the sauce has thickened, approx. 5 minutes Continued. Reduce the heat to low and begin to slowly add the fontina, gouda and gruyere cheeses, stirring frequently, until completely melted and incorporated. Remove from the heat, season to taste with salt, then cover the surface of the sauce with a sheet of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside at room temperature while the pasta boils.

  4. Preheat the oven (with one rack positioned in the middle) to 475ºF. Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Season the water generously with salt, then stir in the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, half fill a large bowl with ice water and place it near the sink. Place a large colander in the sink, drain the pasta, then immediately transfer it to the ice water bath. Once cooled, drain the pasta again and return it to the pot. Stir in reserved cheese sauce, then transfer to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Transfer the dish to a large rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Transfer to the oven to bake until the surface is golden brown, the pasta is cooked through and the sauce begins to bubble, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.


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