|This post is linked to Weekend Cooking @ Beth Fish Reads|
Tomato Mac and Cheese
Salt and pepper
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
6 tbls. unsalted butter
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 c. Half & Half (half milk & half heavy cream)
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
4 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1. Cook Macaroni Adjust oven to middle position and heat oven to 400*. Bring 4 qts. water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tbls. salt and macaroni and cook until just al dente, about 6 min. Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour diced tomatoes with their juices over pasta and stir to coat. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 5 min.. Set aside.
2. Make Sauce Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Stir in flour and cayenne and cook until golden, about 1 min. Slowly whisk in half and half and broth until smooth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 15 min. Off heat, whisk in cheeses, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper until cheeses melt. Pour sauce over macaroni and stir to combine.
3. Bake Macaroni an Cheese Scrape mixture into 13x9 inch baking dish set in rimmed baking sheet and bake until top begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let sit for 10 to 15 min. before serving (otherwise it could be soupy).
Make Ahead: Macaroni and cheese can be made in advance through step 2. Scrape mixture into 13x9 in. baking dish, cool, lay plastic wrap directly on surface of pasta, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, remove plastic wrap, cover with foil, and bake for 30 min. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 min. Let sit for 10 to 15 min. before serving.
This is an America's Test Kitchen recipe. I halved it and it served 3 of us with several helpings and still had leftovers!
And just for fun check out this short video from Tom and Chee's on how to make a Blueberry Bleu Grilled Cheese Donut! I'm on my way to Cinncinnati now, meet me there! (You might need to expand the video screen if the visual doesn't come up)