Well, I wasn’t going to cook tonight. But then I cooked anyway. The idea of making something like this occurred to me this afternoon, and when I realized I already had everything I needed…..this happened :D! It got 6 thumbs (collectively) up from my family.
Wine and Thyme Mac ‘N Cheese
- 6 oz corkscrew shaped pasta
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- ½ t fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ c dry white wine
- 1½ c milk
- 2 c shredded Vermont white sharp cheddar
- 1 t kosher salt (+ more to salt the pasta water)
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
- ½ t dijon mustard (I prefer Grey Poupon Country dijon)
- 1 T panko breadcrumbs
- ½ t extra virgin olive oil
- 1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a handful of salt, and cook the pasta to al dente (when I cook pasta for any casserole-type dish, I cook it 1 minute less than the directions).
While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan with the butter and flour, whisking until smooth. When it starts to bubble a little, cook 1 minute. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Slowly add the wine and milk, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring, ~2 minutes until just a little thickened. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir until smooth.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the cheese sauce. Ladle into individual 4 (7 oz) ramekins to serve 4 or into 2 (14 oz) ramekins (which is what I did in the photo). Alternatively, use a small casserole dish.
In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil, and top the mac ‘n cheese. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until very bubbly and golden on top (less for the smaller ramekins, longer for the larger ones). Serve with crumbled bacon sprinkled over. Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish.
*Note, I wrote this recipe to be a nice little side and not a huge casserole, but this recipe can easily be doubled to serve more people. I’m sure I’ll do that at some point 🙂