Baked Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes
Andy Anderson !
My mother used to make this basic comfort food, in the Autumn, and Winter months when we lived in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. She claimed the recipe came from a restaurant she went to in New York City; however, she neglected to give the name.
Anyway, put another log on the fire; curl up with a good book, and a hearty bowl of M&C… Enjoy.
1/4 lbclassic macaroni, elbow variety
2 Tbspsweet butter, unsalted
2 Tbspflour, all purpose
1/2 tspsalt, table variety
1 pinchfreshly ground white pepper
1 pinchcayenne pepper
1 1/2 cwhole milk
2 Tbspheavy cream
1 cextra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cpanko bread crumbs
1/2 cdiced tomatoes
1/2 tspsugar, granulated
How to Make Baked Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes
- Chef’s Note: In cooking, al dente describes pasta and that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard. Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked dishes, where the pasta is cooked twice.
The term "al dente" comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", and is referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness.
One other point: Pasta that is cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than pasta that is cooked soft.
- Mix the flour, salt, and the peppers, together in a small prep bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter, and then gradually add the flour mixture.
- Mix the milk, and the cream together, and then slowly add to the roux. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the drained macaroni to the sauce, plus the reserved tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of the panko breadcrumbs, then gently stir to combine.
Add the mixture to an ovenproof dish, and sprinkle the remaining panko breadcrumbs over the top.