The recipe for the mac and cheese, as requested by my cousin Miryam, after the jump. This is another of those dishes that falls into the "yeah, not a health food" category, so don't skimp on the butter or cheese.
S's Birthday Mac-and Cheese
- 3/4 lb short pasta, cooked al dente and tossed in good olive oil
- About 4 small shallots, sliced thinly
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- Plenty of minced fresh herbs (I used sage and thyme; rosemary would also be delicious) and fresh ground pepper
- 5 tbsp butter
- About 2 c. cheese; half good sharp cheddar and half something fancy and harder, like Piave
- 1 c. half-and-half
- 1/2 c white wine
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp white miso
- 1 tb creme fraiche
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet over low-medium heat. Caramelize shallots and garlic until melting and golden brown. Set aside.
- Melt remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour to make a roux, and add herbs.
- Slowly whisk in liquid, until you have a thick sauce.
- Whisk in miso.
- Stir in shallots.
- Turn heat up a notch, until sauce thickens slightly, stirring all the time.
- Stir in cheese and creme fraiche.
- When it is melted, remove from heat and stir in pasta.
- Butter six ramekins or one 8x8 casserole dish. Fill, top with grated parmaggiano (or other hard cheese) and bake for about 30 minutes, until just starting to brown.
- Finish under the broiler for about a minute, and serve.