Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Loved by people of all ages, a steaming hot bowl of pasta and melted cheese has the potential to make everything right with the world.
Who came up with the idea to combine elbow macaroni with creamy cheese to create this simple, yet perfectly complementary concoction? As you might expect, mac and cheese traces its roots to Italy, home of many culinary delights.
However your pasta dish doesnt need to be boring, here is a spiced up recipe including some lobster for those luxurious cheat days.
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing dish
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 2 (8-ounce) raw lobster tails, defrosted if frozen, meat removed from shell, chopped
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.
- Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the white wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf.
- Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. When thickened, remove the bay leaves.
- Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with parsley.