Watch them make it: Rocky & Carlo’s Macaroni and Cheese

The St. Bernard Parish staple gives a behind-the-scenes look at crafting the popular macaroni and cheese dish.

Rocky & Carlo’s Restaurant and Bar has been a staple in St. Bernard Parish for more than 50 years.

The Chalmette institution born from families of Italian immigrants serves up several Italian classics, like veal parmesan, but the restaurant is widely known for its baked macaroni and cheese.

The restaurant’s popular dish has been more than half a century in the making. In the video above, owner Tommy Tommaseo takes us behind the scenes in the kitchen and shows what goes into crafting the perfect pan of macaroni and cheese.

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Tommaseo said the family made the macaroni at a restaurant called Angelo’s, which is now closed, before taking the recipe to Rocky & Carlo’s when the restaurant opened in 1965.

The recipe uses perciatelli pasta, a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. Tommaseo says it’s cooked perfectly when you can blow through it and air comes out the other end — like a straw. A blend of cheddar cheese and about 15 eggs per pan also contribute to the creamy mac and cheese recipe.

Each day, Rocky and Carlo’s cooks about 40 pans of macaroni to meet demands for the popular dish. Tommaseo says he gets to the restaurant around 5:30 a.m. to start making macaroni. Sometimes for catering orders, he has to arrive at 2 a.m.

During Thanksgiving, the restaurant dishes out around 200 pans for customers coveting the fan favorite.

The restaurant’s reputation for good food also draws crowds willing to wait in line daily. Customers will start lining up outside as long as 45 minutes prior to opening for a taste of creamy mac and cheese.

Rocky and Carlo’s is located at 613 W. St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette.

For more information about Rocky & Carlo’s Restaurant and Bar, visit the Facebook page.