Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese

I felt it appropriate to return to this recipe which was featured in the first entry on my blog back in the Weebly days, because I did not give it enough attention at the time. This time I made it in France for very good friends of mine and I had the Boy and friends all around the world crying that they weren’t there to share! Everyone that tastes this recipe falls fast and hard for it, so it deserves a rebirth of sorts with the new year. The warm flavor of the caramelized shallots and the tang of the sage fold in glorious with the rich sharpness of the two cheeses, made even better here by the fullness of the cream and quality of all of the ingredients. Nothing like a favorite dish and friends to make you feel better when you’ve been holed up, sick in your apartment for days. Just a warning, the full recipe can feed six hungry people as a main!

Ingredients:

20130120-164552.jpg1 lb orecchiete pasta (we used medium shells as our local store didn’t have orecchiete…the horror!)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (as usual, a tsp or so in a cup of milk left for ten minutes will be a perfect buttermilk substitute)
1 cup heavy cream (you an substitute a lighter cream or half and half if you like, but since I made it in France this time, there was no question of substituting! It would be an insult! …right?)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (we found the rare orange cheddar while in Germany for the day…white cheddar is nonexistent here, but I would highly recommend using the sharpest white cheddar you can get your hands on)
2 cups Gruyere cheese (this was a win being in France!)
1 tsp kosher salt (seriously, don’t add more!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

Directions:

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  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook 15 – 17 minutes, stirring frequently until deep, golden brown. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Set aside.
  • For the roux, melt 4 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles and foams.
  • Whisk in the flour until smooth and until the mixture starts to brown, ~1 minute.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk and cream, then thicken over medium high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low and mix in cheeses and salt. Cook until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. (When I made it last night I found it a bit goopy and heavy on the cheese so I added some milk, but really, who’s complaining about too much cheese?!)
  • Melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the sage, saute 1 minute and turn off heat.

Mix pasta, shallots, cheese sauce and sage in a large bowl and share with everyone you know!!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese”
  1. Oh lord, this sounds incredible! I’m drooling over the idea of caramelized shallots, and sage is one of my favorite herbs. You say it feeds six as a main…but I’m pretty sure I’d need the whole thing to myself 🙂

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