Best Mac and Cheese?

Kim Conte

macaroni and cheese

The return to cold weather has me in the mood for some mac and cheese. Usually, I just make the box version (if it ain't broke, don't fix it); but then I came across a recipe for Carmelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese.

Apparently, it won first prize in the Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese Cook-off contest. Yum! That sounds like a good way to get some veggies into the kids.

Carmelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese From Tillamood Macaroni and Cheese:

10 cloves garlic

1 large sweet potato (about 16 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces cavatappi pasta

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

4 tablespoons Tillamook unsalted butter

4 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups half-and-half

2 cups Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

3/4 cup asiago cheese, shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs from rustic Italian bread

Blanch garlic cloves in boiling water and transfer to ice water. When cool, put them through a garlic press (or mince).

Bring water back to a boil and add sweet potato slices and cook for 5 minutes or until tender; drain. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sweet potatoes and cook, flipping occasionally, until they develop a caramelized crust (about 5 minutes). Dice sweet potatoes. Set aside.

Cook until al dente. Drain.

In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add in salt and pepper, and, with a wire whisk, gradually add the half & half. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Reduce heat, and then simmer for 1 minute. Stir 1 3/4 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese and 1/2 cup asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Add the blanched pressed garlic, diced sweet potatoes, minced garlic, rosemary and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole dish.

For topping combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, and 1/4 cup asiago cheese in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle on top of pasta.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350, or until the cheese is bubbly and the topping golden brown.

How do you make mac and cheese?

Read More

dinner, everyday celebrations, family meals, food, healthy choices, kid-friendly, lunch, recipes