Sweet dreams & mac and cheese with caramelized onions

It isn’t comfort food week but I can’t help but overindulge in feel-good foods lately, particularly anything that includes cheese & caramelized onion.  My most recent attempt is at jazzing up an old comfort food staple: mac & cheese with caramelized onion.  This is one of those dishes that’s best eaten when you’re dressed in your pajamas so you can easily slip into a happy food coma afterwards.  Or maybe it’s just me?

Since my local Waitrose doesn’t seem to supply macaroni I opted for amori pasta, which curves and is hollow like macaroni.  The star of the dish, however, is not the pasta but the caramelized onion, which brings a sweet depth to the creaminess of the sauce and saltiness of the cheeses.  While the serving suggestion of the recipe is for 4, BF & I had no problem inhaling this in one go.

Another take on an American staple: mac & cheese

Another take on an old staple: amori (mac) & cheese

Recipe adapted from the Better Homes & Garden cookbook.  Serves 4.

2 tsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil
1 large red onion, halved & thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) elbow macaroni or amori pasta
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese1 cup (4 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup half & half or light cream
black pepper to taste

Cook onion in medium-low heat for 20 – 25 minutes or until onion is tender.

While the onion caramelizes, cook the pasta according to package instructions.  Drain then return to saucepan.  Preheat the oven at 350ºF/177ºC.  Once the onion is ready, stir it in with the pasta along with 1 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, Gruyere cheese, half & half/light cream, and black pepper.  Toss gently to combine then spoon into a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for a further 10 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before digging in.  Then take a nap.

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