Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

The Real Stuff

Posted February 9, 2009

Gratineed Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes
Adapted from
The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
Serves 6-8

For this particular recipe, Stewart recommends sharp white Cheddar cheese only. I think Gruyere adds a nice nuttiness, so I did half and half. I was feeding about 14 adults so I doubled the below recipe. If you do so, make sure you have a very large bowl to mix it all together!

7 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound elbow macaroni or other short, tubular pasta

1 quart whole milk

5 tbsp. flour

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

4 cups grated cheese, about 1 pound (see my note above)
1 pound red and yellow tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or a 3 quart casserole dish; set aside. Melt 2 tbsp. butter and pour over the bread in a medium bowl; toss. Add 1 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 pepper; toss.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a small handful of salt. Cook the pasta until just beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes (it will not be fully cooked). Drain and rinse.

3. Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat the remaining 5 tbsp. butter in a high sided skillet (or a pot) over medium until foaming. Add the flour; whisk 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the warm milk. Cook, whisking, until bubbling and thickened, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Add 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, the remaining 2 tsp. thyme, the nutmeg, and the cheese to pan; stir until the cheese is melted.

5. Stir the pasta and tomatoes into the cheese sauce. Pour into the buttered dish; sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until bubbling and golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

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