Hello Fellow Eaters,
This following recipe is my favorite homemade mac and cheese recipe. The cheese sauce comes out perfectly! It is also a wonderfully easy way to slip root vegetables or winter squash into a kid friendly dish. The above image was from a batch I made with butternut squash. I got the recipe from one of my favorite authors of all time, Andrea Chesman. This is from her book Recipes from the Root Cellar. The only changes I made in my most recent batch, were that I used a small leek instead of the shallot and I didn't put any breadcrumbs on top.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 cups peeled and diced mixed root vegetables (carrots, celery root, golden beets, parsnips, rutabagas, salsify, and/or turnips) or winter squashes
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups lightly packed grated sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a large casserole dish.
- Bring two large pots of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni to one pot and cook until al dente. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In the second pot of boiling water, cook the vegetable(s) until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. The vegetables should still hold their shape. Drain well. Transfer to the large bowl.
- To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, if using, and saute until limp, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Stir in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring to prevent lumps. When the sauce thickens, add the cheese, stirring until melted. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir the sauce into the macaroni and vegetable. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are browned. Serve hot.