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.
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.