Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

When it comes to garlic, I’m pretty sure my devotion rivals that of Rachael Ray. Well, I maybe don’t love it quite as much as she does, considering that I watched an episode of her show recently when she talked about buying it by the half-bushel...but still. I love garlic, and put it in practically everything I make.

When raw, garlic is so sharp and pungent, but something magical happens to it when you roast it. Seriously, if you’ve never roasted garlic...WHY NOT? Go do it RIGHT NOW. It turns into this caramelized, soft, sweet, toasty sort of thing that is definitely one of the most delicious things on the planet.

When I saw this recipe on Annie’s blog, inspired by a garlic cheddar cheese she bought in Vermont, I knew I would be making it. I’ve since made it three or four times, and it is definitely a family favorite. Since I can’t just up and travel to Vermont for some garlic cheddar cheese, I use sharp white cheddar for this, which I think offsets the smooth and mellow flavor of the roasted garlic perfectly. The Boursin makes this so creamy and highlights the garlic flavor even more. Annie bakes her version, but I just make it on the stovetop to keep it really creamy. Even though this recipe is for an entire pound of pasta, I’m not ashamed to admit that we rarely have leftovers of this in my house.

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
12-16 ounces penne rigate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 container (usually 5 to 6 ounces) Boursin (garlic and herb spreadable cheese)
Salt and pepper

1. To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove most of the outer paper skins from the head of garlic, leaving it intact. Slice off the top portion of the head so that all of the cloves are exposed at the top, but the head is still intact. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil and loosely fold the foil up around the head of garlic to create a foil packet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cloves are easily squeezed from the skins. Squeeze all of the garlic out of the skins and smash with a fork to make a paste.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and the roasted garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a low boil and thickens noticeably. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar and Boursin. Whisk until the cheese is completely melted.

4. Add cheese sauce to reserved pasta and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Sarah - The Home Cook said...

I've been waiting for you to post this one. Drool. I can't wait to make it.

Faith said...

omg, this is all i want to eat now! i MUST make this!

Allison said...

This sounds delicious!

I actually roasted garlic recently using instructions on a different recipe and didn't use any olive oil and it still turned out beautifully. Just FYI :)

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