OK, admittedly, Baked Macaroni and Cheese is not low-calorie (or even low-fat), but when you are craving comfort food, those kind of considerations go out the window. With spring in the air, you cannot tell whether it will be 40 degrees or 80!
On cooler days, I like to surprise my family with a hearty meal after baseball practice, or just a long day at school. For adults, this is a super way to take a little trip back down memory lane. Maybe just skip dessert afterwards!
If you are following a vegetarian diet, then put this one in the recipe book. Other than the hottest couple of months during summer, you can make this dish year round.
1 c. smoked cheddar cheese (in Oregon, we love Tillamook), shredded
1 c. heavy cream (not half and half, please read the labels!)
3 whole shallots, roasted
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. white wine
1/2 t. fresh chopped thyme
3 cloves garlic, roasted
1 tomato, roasted
1 c. cooked elbow or penne pasta
1/4 c. bread crumbs with herbs
salt and pepper to taste
First, roast shallots by combining them with 2 T. olive oil, 1/4 c. white wine and 1/2 t. fresh chopped thyme, then cover with foil and roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
You'll also need to roast the tomatoes and garlic. This will take two steps. The tomatoes can be done in 15 minutes after cutting it into quarters and coating with a bit of olive oil. Roast at 350 for 1/4 hour. Garlic will take a bit longer - coat with olive oil, salt and pepper then cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350.
All your hard roasting work is about to pay off.
Bring the heavy cream to a boil, slowly over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the garlic, shallots and pre-cooked pasta. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down heat to low and add cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Later, stir in tomato.
Pour into an oven-safe dish and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Cook for only 8 minutes at 350 until browned.
Dig in and enjoy!