Grenache – CUT Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Recipe Date: April 23, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Grenache is a great pairing for a cheese and charcuterie plate.  We use that fact as a backdrop to make this elevated Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipe from Wolfgan Puck’s CUT Steakhouse.  The tangy and complex cheese and subtle peppery notes really fit well with this wine.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel, plus more, to taste
  • 3 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. cavatappi, cooked al dente, cooled in ice water and drained
  • 3/4 cup fresh brioche bread crumbs


Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 3- to 4-quart square baking dish.

In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the 6 Tbs. butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until blended, about 1 minute. Add the bay leaf and slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is thickened, 14 to 16 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and discard. Whisk in the crème fraîche and the 1 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1 1/4 cups each of the mozzarella and cheddar. Season with fleur de sel and white pepper.  In a large bowl, combine the pasta and cheese sauce and stir in 2 cups of the mozzarella. 

Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and cheddar and then with the bread crumbs. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden and the cheese is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.