Mushroom and Herb Mac and Cheese

Some people are very particular about their herbs. I know a lot of people who cannot stand cilantro, others who absolutely despise thyme and others who think that lavender is only good in shower gels. I honestly think that in appropriate amounts and mixed with the right ingredients, fresh herbs can change an entire dish for better. Having said that, I will admit that I can’t stand basil when it is just added as an afterthought or put in a dish where it doesn’t belong. Tastes like licorice. No good. This mac and cheese really gets an upgrade with the use of thyme and rosemary. I would use a mix of different mushrooms next time just because I love mushrooms and again leave out the white wine vinegar  since I never have it at home anyway.

Ingredients:1 lb elbow pasta, 1 lb mushrooms of your choice (I used baby bella) sliced, 1 shallot diced, 2 garlic cloves minced, 8 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons flour, 1/2 tablespoon each chopped rosemary and thyme (you can use any herbs you like and decrease the amount of herbs added), 3 cups milk, 6 oz shredded Gruyere, 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 400. Begin cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the box. It should be al dente. Meanwhile in a small pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Add the shallots.

Next add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms and shallots become tender and the liquid reduces by half. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute and take off heat.

In another pot, start making the sauce. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together until smooth and golden. Stir in the fresh herbs and cook for about a minute.

Pour in the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens. Add the shredded cheeses.

Continue stirring until they melt and the sauce is smooth. Add the mushroom mixture to the cooked pasta and top with the sauce. Mix together and transfer to an oven proof pot or baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy

 

 

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Filed under Main Course, Pasta, Vegetarian

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