Wednesday, November 18, 2009

French Onion Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Bart and I absolutely love French Onion Soup. We often make it to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Considering that we also love pasta, this recipe was an incredible find for us! Bart is an expert at making French Onion Soup, so he is the one that made this recipe for us. He advises to take your time when browning the onions so you get that yummy caramelized flavor (not a burnt flavor).

Recipe from EveryDay with Rachael Ray Dec/Jan 2010.

4 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate (or use whole wheat penne rigate) pasta
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
¾ pound gruyere cheese, shredded (can substitute Swiss cheese if desired)

In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, thyme and bay leaf for 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook until the onions are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and discard the bay leaf. Reserve the skillet.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

In the reserved skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil (I find it works better to microwave the chicken stock and milk before adding them—it tends to result in a smoother sauce); season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Lower the heat and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted.

Combine the onions and sauce with the pasta and toss well.

Serve as a main dish with a mixed greens salad or as a side with sliced London broil.

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