Guys, I’m at a loss for words today.
No, really…a loss for words. The rosemary macaroni ‘n’ cheese completely erased my vocabulary.
Words like ‘stupendous’, ‘outstanding’, ‘the-best-thing-you’ve-ever-put-in-your-mouth’ (promptly followed with a ‘that’s what she said’) come to mind. But those aren’t unique descriptors. We all know other things that fit those descriptions, but this? Guys, this will change your life.
As my friend Stefanie said when describing it to our friends who didn’t try it (she made it and has altered my life forever), “I know you didn’t have any, but I think you’d like it because you’re human.”
ROSEMARY MACARONI ‘n’ CHEESE
inspired by Cooks Illustrated
1 TBSP Olive oil
1 Cup finely chopped shallots
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 Cups coarsely ripped sourdough bread (I’m interjecting here to say you’re going to want to double this recipe and eat at least half while you cook. It’s just how life works, guys)
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a heavy skillet, add olive oil until heated. Add shallots and rosemary, stir until tender and fragrant (oh wow, I wish I smelled like this all the time). Add the bread and parsley and stir for about 1 minute. Pour the bread into a baking dish and place in the oven while you make the mac n cheese.
Mac ‘N’ Cheese
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 TBSP (3/4 stick) butter
4 cups milk
3 cups (packed) extra sharp grated cheddar cheese (set 1 cup aside)
3 Cups (packed) Fontina cheese (set 1 cup aside)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, (set 1/4 cup aside)
8 cups cooked pasta of your liking
In the same heavy skillet, melt the butter on medium high heat. Add the flour, nutmeg, and cayenne all at once, and stir – do not brown! Gradually add the milk, bring to a simmer, and stir until it thickens – about 5 minutes. Add your cheeses, season generously with salt and a pinch of pepper, and stir until it’s all mixed. Add your cooked pasta and mix it all up. Layer pasta, then a mix of your reserved cheeses, then pasta again in whatever baking dish works. Take your breadcrumbs out of the oven and put them on top of your pasta. Cover that baby with cheese, and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes with tin foil on the top, 10 minutes without the tin foil, and voila!
Some added notes from Stefanie include, “A cardiovascular catastrophe that smells like heaven and tastes like bliss!” and “I think it’d be great with bacon, but seriously? Does it need more saturated fat? Maybe tomatoes!”
Stef, I agree…it does smell like heaven and taste like bliss, but I can’t wrap my brain around the cardiovascular catastrophe part. My argument is that it’s good for you because it makes your heart happy. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
And yes, it would be fabulous with both bacon AND tomatoes…and more cheese 🙂
Happy Friday y’all!