Ahhh...mac and cheese...brings back so many fond childhood memories. I remember when my mom made it for us as children, way back when I was in junior high. It was a great stove-top dish we enjoyed after coming home from school.
Really, who doesn't love mac and cheese? It's the ultimate kid-friendly dish! But I gotta tell you, this is not your typical mac and cheese that you had as a kid. It's way more than that. And I think I just found the perfect adult version (and kid-approved) mac and cheese that is so delicious, you'll want to make it over and over again.
That is, if you love garlic as much as I do! And cheddar, and pasta, and...okay, I'll stop now. But seriously, this is a garlic lover's dream come true in real mac and cheese fashion!
I found this dish while browsing Pinterest for ways to use up my garlic before it spoiled and I'd have to throw it away. If you haven't had roasted garlic before, I strongly encourage you to try it. It may seem like a head of garlic is a bit too much, but roasting it in the oven really mellows out the garlic taste, and brings out a sort of awesomeness (is that even a word?). Really, I could eat roasted garlic on just about anything.
Now if you can't find garlic white cheddar cheese at your supermarket (I found Tillamook's garlic white cheddar cheese at our local WinCo Foods), you can certainly use plain white cheddar instead and that would be just as good, and it will tame down the garlic taste a bit. My kids actually prefer the plain white cheddar over the garlic white cheddar...but my husband and I, however, are total garlic people.
Food for My Soul: "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown." Revelations 3:11 (NIV)
Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese
1 head garlic
10 oz whole wheat pasta shells (I prefer Barilla)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour (or white wheat flour)
3 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 oz. garlic white cheddar (or white cheddar) cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish (optional)
1. To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Remove most of the outer 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. Loosely fold aluminum foil up around the head of garlic and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the cloves are easily squeezed from the skins. Smash with a fork to make a paste.
2. In a medium saucepan, cook pasta according to package instructions, but 2 minutes shy of al dente. Drain in a colander and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and the roasted garlic paste and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, dried parsley, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a low boil and thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar; mix until the cheese is completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and toss to coat well. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and bake at 400 degree F for 15-20 minutes or until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbling. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
(Adapted from Annie's Eats)