a simple herbed stovetop mac and cheese with caramelized shallots, garlic, white cheddar, parmesan, and lots of savory herbs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, finely diced
freshly cracked black pepper
8 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, add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes or so until softened, stirring often. Season with salt and black pepper.
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.
Remove the herb sprigs. 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.