In his series Marcus' Kitchen, chef Marcus Samuelsson shares dozens of recipes that prove "American" cuisine is really a delicious melting pot that draws upon flavors from all over the world.
In this episode, Marcus combines an American macaroni and cheese with an Italian spaghetti alla carbonara, by adding the latter's bacon and uncooked eggs to his version of mac and cheese. While Marcus grew up eating meatballs and macaroni, he only discovered mac and cheese when he moved to America -- and so he developed this hybrid dish that is made saltier and creamier with the addition of "carbonara-style" ingredients.
To start off the pasta sauce, Marcus cooks bacon, onion, garlic and breadcrumbs in a skillet, and once they're all nicely browned, sets some of this mixture aside to later use as a topping. He then adds heavy cream, water and Cheddar cheese and stirs until the mixture is melted and well blended, removes the pan from the heat, and sets it aside.
In a large pot, Marcus boils the macaroni with some olive oil and salt. When it's done, he strains the noodles and adds them to the skillet with the sauce, mixes the ingredients well, and returns the pan to the heat for about five minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, Marcus beats one whole egg and one egg yolk*, along with chopped marjoram and Parmesan cheese. He then adds the macaroni and cheese mixture into the bowl, folding the pasta to thoroughly incorporate the egg mixture. Lastly, he adds in the remainder of the breadcrumbs and an additional garnish of marjoram.
Get the Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese alla Carbonara.
* The hot pasta and sauce will effectively "cook" the egg when combined, but if you're concerned about using a raw egg, you can choose to leave these raw ingredients out.