"French Onion" Mac n' Cheese
One might argue that I'm a bit obsessed with mac n' cheese. Uhh . . . no argument here! I totally am! There are so very many different delicious cheeses out there just waiting to be combined with pasta . . . it seems like a waste not to try them all out. Right? I had been toying with the idea for a while or throwing together a mac n' cheese as an homage to one of my other favorites, French Onion Soup. Perhaps this whole meal sounds like one big bowl of fat and carbs to you. Well, it is. But it is also pretty freakin' tasty. Give it a try!
- 8 oz. fusilli pasta
- 4 large yellow onions, peeled, halved, and sliced lengthwise
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3 Tbsp. dry sherry
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 c. grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1/2 c. half and half
- 1/4 c. flour
- thin toasted Parmesan crackers (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
- 6 slices Provolone cheese
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Butter a 13x9" baking dish and set aside. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium-low and cook until onions begin to brown and caramelize (about 20 minutes). Add chopped thyme, sherry, and sugar, and cook over medium an additional 10 minutes. Whisk flour into onion mixture over medium heat and cook 1 minute. Slowly add milk and half and half and whisk until sauce is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and add grated Gruyere cheese.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving some of the pasta cooking water. Add pasta to onion and cheese mixture and stir to combine. Add pasta water to mixture if the cheese sauce is too thick.
Spread pasta into baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes until hot all the way through. Turn on broiler. Remove foil and arrange thin Parmesan toasts over the top. Then arrange Provolone slices on top of crackers in a single later. Put baking dish under the broiler and broil about 10 minutes until cheese on top is brown and bubbly. Enjoy!