Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 generous tbsp all-purpose flour
- 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- 1 quart reduced fat milk (2%)
- 4 cups elbow macaroni
- 8 tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
- few splashes of Worcestershire sauce (Optional)
- a grating of nutmeg (Optional)
- 3 generous handfuls of fresh bread crumbs
- olive oil
Boil salted water.
Over low heat melt butter. Continuously stir and slowly add flour, increase heat to medium heat. You will get a paste this is referred to as the roux. Include all of the garlic, continuously stir for a golden glaze. Include bay leaves and slowly whisk in milk. Boil the roux, then turn down heat to simmer. Stir occasionally.
Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Throw pasta in the salted boiling water and cook. Chop tomatoes, generously salt and pepper the pieces. Rinse and drain pasta, add to roux. Stir well and remove all from heat. Mix in grated cheeses, tomatoe pieces and thyme leaves. (Optional) Include a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce and a nutmeg grating. Bake for ~30 min, golden.
Fry the bread crumbs, remaining thyme and olive oil over medium heat. Achieve a crunchy, golden consistency. Remove from heat. Sprinkle this over each bowl as desired.