Serves | 4 to 6 |

Best known as an American comfort food, mac ‘n' cheese might have originated in Asia, Italy or the British Isles. While the dish's origins are open to debate, its appeal is universal. Vito Racanelli of Onesto Pizza & Trattoria developed this version. His classy casserole is rich with lobster and four types of cheese, all topped with golden fried onion rings.

  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 16-oz package elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups grated American cheese
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 12 oz precooked lobster claw and knuckle meat, sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

| Preparation | Soak onion slices in buttermilk for 2 hours. Remove onion from buttermilk and drain well in strainer.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or medium skillet to 350ºF.

Stir together flour, salt and pepper. Toss onions in seasoned flour mixture to coat. (You will not need all of the flour mixture.) Toss coated onions in a mesh strainer to remove excess flour. Fry onion rings in batches until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine cream and butter. Bring to simmer; cook until thickened. Stir in American, Swiss and Cheddar cheeses until smooth. Stir in cooked macaroni, lobster and Parmesan cheese.

Transfer to a greased 9x9-inch oven-safe casserole dish. Top with the fried onions. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly.

Inspired by February's Around The World In One Dish, this recipe was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Let's Eat section. Be sure to check out Let's Eat every Wednesday for more recipes from FEAST!