a simple herbed stovetop mac and cheese with caramelized shallots, garlic, white cheddar, parmesan, and lots of hearty herbs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
freshly cracked black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 qt whole milk
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb short pasta (i used “pipe rigate”)
1 lb white cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a 5 ½ qt Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, at the shallots. Saute for a few minutes until golden brown, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk for 30 seconds to cook out the flour. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously. Add the herb sprigs and more black pepper. Bring the milk to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 6-8 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring often.
Meanwhile, drop the pasta into the boiling water, stir well, and cook for 1 minute less than the package’s instructions.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir well to coat. Add the cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Stir over low heat until all of the cheese has melted and the sauce is super creamy. Lastly, stir in the parsley. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Serve the mac and cheese immediately and top with more freshly cracked black pepper.