I don’t really eat macaroni and cheese often, mostly because of all that fatty stuff that goes into and makes it so darned tasty! But when I do get a craving it is definitely NOT for that boxed crap filled with nutrition-less noodles and orange powder…what animal does powdered cheese come from?? Anyway when I get a craving I like to take a page from one of my favorite TV chefs; Alton Brown.
On one show, a million years ago he made this Welsh rarebit (or rabbit) cheese sauce and my mouth watered like crazy. I knew that I would be adding this recipe to my repertoire and tweaking it several times over. And guess what? I did.
Today I found some delicious organic whole wheat fusilli. Normally I’d try to find the whole wheat elbow macaroni but sometimes I just find it far too big for my liking and plus the cheese wraps herself all around every curve and cranny of the fusilli noodles.
So I assembled my ingredients first, because a good little chef takes care of prep work first! Well I guess if I were a real chef I’d have a prep cook, but the hubs is at work so it was just me.
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 spoonful mustard
- ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bag fusilli pasta (whole wheat & organic totally up to you)
- ½ cup heavy cream (low fat version)
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded Gouda (choose your favorite melt-y cheese or cheeses)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. each basil, oregano & thyme
So after rinsing, drying and chopping everything that needs it, it is time to begin. Grab 2 large pots: one big one to boil the pasta in and one smaller one to make the sauce. Fill the big one up with water, add some sea salt and cover it until it boils.
Measure out everything else and use little prep bowls if you have them. This way all you have to do is grab what you need and dump it into the pot.
Now…we’re ready for the fun stuff!
- Turn the smaller pot on to medium heat and add olive oil until it begins to shimmer.
- Add scallions and garlic at the same time; they don’t need much time to cook, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- When they are sufficiently tender and beginning to brown add in butter until it melts. Use a sifter to sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until blended. If you want your sauce to be darker, stir this mixture for about 5 minutes.
- Add Worcestershire and mustard and continue to stir until blended.
- Slowly stir in the water until you see the mixture beginning to thicken.
- Stir in the cream a little at a time until the sauce begins to loosen, then slowly add in the cheese, always stirring.
- Now that your water is boiling…add the pasta and cook as the instructions on the package indicate.
- Your sauce is starting to look a bit saucy, so add in the herbs and salt and pepper as needed. I added in 2 anchovy filets for nutty saltiness and just a pinch of sea salt.
- If your sauce is sufficiently cheesy and flavorful enough, remove from heat and keep stirring until pasta is ready.
- When pasta is ready, pour sauce over pasta and stir until blended!
Since this is such a rich dish that I don’t think would be as delicious with a bunch of healthy substitutions, I make this dish my main entrée. There will be no meat or other proteins. It may seem like slim pickins but it is more than enough to satisfy my appetite (or yours) and you’ll have plenty left over for lunch tomorrow…or dinner if you prefer not to cook every day. Apparently such people do exist!
I’ll admit that I don’t know what wine goes with mac & cheese but since I sometimes will use dark beer or ale in lieu of broth, I paired it with Newcastle Brown Ale…ice cold, of course.