With a nod to fuzzy blankets, fuzzy dogs, and fuzzy slippers, here is my favorite winter comfort food:
MAC & CHEESE w/ HAVARTI & ASIAGO
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
- Whatever shape makes you happy
- Yes, whole wheat because you need noodles that stand up to the weight of the cheese.
- If you need to go Gluten-Free, then rice noodles work well too.
- If you buy a 10oz box, use the whole box. We’re cooking here, not baking. We have wiggle room.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground (powdered) mustard or ¼ cup prepared mustard (like Dijon)
- (again, we’re cooking here, peeps, wiggle room)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper (for zing!)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper (for mmm)
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup dry white wine
- (2 cups if you believe in drinking half of what you measure)
- 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, plus 2 ounces set aside for topping
- 3 ounces havarti, shredded
- 2 ounces asiago, shredded
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Unearth two pots and a casserole dish
- Boil pasta al dente.
- Don’t overcook it (until it turns soft); otherwise, you’ll be eating cheese glue. It’ll finish cooking in the oven.
- (During which time, your pasta will probably finish cooking. Go drain it and scurry back. If you do not scurry, your milk will scorch.)
- Note: there should be more sauce than noodles, just shy of soupy. Remember the noodles will continue to cook and absorb liquid. Too little sauce and your noodles will dry out.
- If you want an extra crispy cheese crust, then put it in the broiler for 5 mins.
Serve with some flaked salmon or steamed broccoli if you need to feel a little virtuous. Also, leftovers are super awesome.