Bits and pieces of this recipe popped up in my head this week and just wouldn’t let go ’till I made it. 🙂 It’s a creamy, decadent take on the American comfort food classic, full of flavor, and made start-to-finish on the stovetop.
This recipe is roux-based, which is a cooking thickener made of flour and fat. A roux can be a bit intimidating to novice cooks – but just add your ingredients gradually, don’t keep the heat too high, whisk vigorously throughout, and you’ll come out alright in the end.
The carmelized shallots and sundried tomatoes are allowed to infuse the roux with flavor, really packing a savory punch. The whole wheat macaroni is a bit more robust and adds a good bite to the meal, as well as providing additional dietary fiber. Serve it with a generous amount of salad as as counterpoint to the rich pasta and you’ll have a satisfying, delicious, simple meal. Dare I say that it was so excellent that I ate my dinner incredulous that I had created something this delectable… Hey, we all can enjoy a self-given a pat on the back when it’s deserved, right? 😉
Carmelized Shallot and Sundried Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
A Don the Apron original
Makes three moderately-sized main dish servings
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni, whole wheat
- 3-4 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 6 oz shredded cheese (I used Trader Joe’s shredded three cheese blend, which has monterey jack, mozzarella, and cheddar)
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom, heat olive oil and shallots over medium heat, stirring regularly, until shallots become brown and tender. This will take at least twenty minutes.
- While shallots cook, boil elbow macaroni according to directions until al dente. When done, drain and rinse with cool water.
- Remove carmelized shallots from pan. Return pan to heat, and melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, whisking well to form a smooth roux. Cook for one minute, then begin to add in milk, continuing to whisk to keep mixture creamy.
- Add in cooked shallots, sundried tomatoes, and mustard powder to roux, and continue to whisk and cook until mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and whisk in shredded cheese; add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add cooked macaroni and stir to mix. Serve.