The Sizzle: Grana Padano mac 'n' cheese

Grazia Middle East proudly presents our spicy new video series The Sizzle with rock star restauranteur Joey Ghazal
The Sizzle: Grana Padano mac 'n' cheese

Joey Ghazal will help you make your meals sizzle with Grazia's new video series

In this first-of-its-kind new series, Grazia Middle East joins forces with serial gastropreneur and the Dubai restaurant scene's very own rock star Joey Ghazal in his own home as he elevates everyday dishes into fine-dining experiences, using the freshest ingredients delivered to your door, with a focus on supporting and celebrating local farms, fisheries, producers and suppliers.

Every episode will be served with a generous helping of creativity, community and isolation inspiration. Watch out for guest appearances from his friends and fellow restauranteurs as they share recipes and cooking ideas for a never-seen-before fusion of Dubai's exciting food scene.

To kick off the series, the Founder of The Maine is starting with  Grana Padano Mac 'n' Cheese.  Joey tells Grazia, "This dish is total nostalgia and the ultimate comfort food. It reminds me of my childhood and always has a place on my menus. I have tried many variations of it over the years and you can always spoil yourself by adding truffle, lobster and even foie gras."

"For those of you that don’t know Grana Padano, this Italian cheese comes from the Po River Valley is perfect because of its fine grainy texture and its mellow flavour that doesn't overpower the dish," he adds.

Grana Padano Mac 'n' Cheese

Serves: 4 - 6
Cooking time: 30 minutes


500g Durum Wheat Macaroni

For the Grana Padano crust:
2/3 cup Grana Padano
1 1/2 tbsp salted butter
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

For the sauce:
1 cup grated Grana Padano
3/4 cup grated smoked Cheddar
3/4 grated Fontina cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup leeks
4 crushed garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2  cups of full-fat milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tbsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Joey Ghazal welcomes us into his kitchen


Boil pasta in salted water until just al dente
Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
Preheat oven grill or broiler to 200°C

For the Grana Padano crust:
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large non stick pan
Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden brown.
Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

For the sauce:
Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in the same pan / skillet.
Sauté garlic and leeks for 1 minute
Add the all-purpose flour; continue to cook while stirring for at least 2 minutes.
Add onion powder, hot sauce and mustard powder.
Reduce heat down to low; gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk (about 1/4 cup at a time), stirring between each addition to combine.
Bring to a boil until beginning to thicken.
In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup milk; whisk until lump free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the Chicken Stock.
Remove from heat and add in the Grana Padano, smoked cheddar and the Fontina cheese. Stir through until all of the cheese has melted. Toss the macaroni through the sauce until completely coated.
Top with the Panko and the remaining Grana Padano. Broil (or grill) in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling.
Allow to cool down slightly before serving.

  • In the UAE, you can find Grana Padano in the following stores: Spinneys; Waitrose; Monoprix; Carrefour; Giant; and Eataly at The Dubai Mall

Photos: Natalie Lines