Happy Halloween! We’re currently putting the final touches on Apolinaras’ costume and I’m hoping I can convince him to let me post a few pictures, but I don’t want to push my luck too much. I’m very excited that I even convinced him to dress up – this is only his second time doing so in our 8 years together! It rained several days this week and I couldn’t help but think back to the year my brother was a green stegosaurus. Our grandma, who was very passionate about sewing, always made our Halloween costumes, so we were in the fortunate position to be anything that we could dream up. Richard went through a period of wanting to work at a museum and decided to be a dinosaur one year. His costume was adorable, but he had a long tail that was filled with stuffing like a pillow and it rained that Halloween. His entire tail got completely soaked and became so heavy that the poor little guy had a lot of trouble lugging it around behind him, so we didn’t haul in very much candy that year. I’m happy the weather is supposed to be clear tomorrow so all the little trick or treaters can enjoy themselves!
Whenever it’s gloomy and rainy out, I always start craving mac & cheese. I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to admit that I usually just make the stuff from the blue box (in my defense, it’s actually pretty tasty with a few modifications – I use half the amount of butter, add buttermilk, and tons of cheddar cheese). But, I recently made the real deal for the first time and it was definitely worth the extra effort. The caramelized shallots, crispy sage, and buttermilk make this version extra delicious and indulgent, and I love the cute orecchiette pasta.
p.s. I’m submitting this to Natasha’s 5 Star Mac & Cheese Makeover! Be sure to check out her blog soon for the round up!
Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Briefly, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and drain.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add shallots and cook 15 to 17 minutes, stirring frequently, or until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute.
Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook one minute or until mixture starts to brown. Whisk in buttermilk and cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and mix in cheddar cheese, gruyere cheese, and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add sage and turn off heat.
Mix orecchiette pasta, caramelized shallots, cheese sauce, and crispy sage in a large bowl until well combined. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition: 685 calories, 41.2g fat, 2.2g fiber, 24.8g protein per serving
Cost: $1.85 per serving