Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese


Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese


Equipment

9x13" Baking Dish (or similar size)
Large Deep Frying Pan or Pot (to combine mac and cheese)

Large Pot (for boiling pasta) & Colander
Foil (for roasting garlic)

Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Whisk

Wooden Spoon
Cheese Grater

Ingredients

14oz / 400g Elbow Macaroni (or other short-cut pasta)
4 cups / 1 litre Milk, at room temp

1 large bulb of Garlic
2 cups / 200g Sharp Cheddar, grated

2 cups / 200g Mozzarella, shredded
1 cup / 80g Parmesan, grated (save half for top)

1/2 cup / 30g Breadcrumbs, or as needed
3 heaped tbsp Plain Flour

3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Fresh Chives, finely diced to garnish
Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Olive Oil / Oil Spray

Instructions

Slice the tip off the garlic bulb to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Pop in the oven for 45-60mins at 356F/180C or until golden brown and soft as butter.
Squeeze out the garlic & mash with a pinch of salt to completely smooth it out. Add to a large saucepan over medium heat with 3 tbsp butter and stir to combine. Stir in 3 heaped tbsp flour to form a paste, then very gradually pour in 1litre/4cups milk, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Important to make sure the sauce thickens before adding the cheese, don't use the cheese to thicken the sauce. If it's watery by the time you add all the milk just rapid simmer until it can coat the back of a spoon, then stir through cheeses (step 4).

Meanwhile, cook 14oz/400g pasta in salted boiling water until only JUST cooked. You want it still a bit hard. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water then drain and combine with cheese sauce. Pre heat oven to 200C/390F.

Once thickened, add 1 tbsp dijon mustard and seasoning (to taste), then stir in 2cups/200g cheddar, 2cups/200g mozzarella and 1/2cup/40g parmesan (other half is to top). It may seem overly stringy at this point, but the small amount of pasta water attached to pasta will smooth it out.

Add everything to a baking dish, top with 1/2cup/40g parmesan then 1/2cup/30g breadcrumbs. Finish with a pinch of salt & pepper and oil spray. Pop in the oven for 20-25mins or until golden on top. Sprinkle fresh chives over the top and serve.

Notes

a) Roasted Garlic - Timings will vary depending on the size of the garlic, so just be vigilant after 40-45mins. If it looks like it's turning too dark too quickly simply lower the temperature. 
b) Al dente pasta - You want to make sure the pasta is only just cooked. It will finish cooking when you bake it in the oven.

c) Consistency / Pasta Water - The sauce may seem overly stringy at the start, but when you add pasta, the little bit of water that comes with it will help smooth it out and turn the sauce silky. Use more pasta water as needed to help this (a few splashes, don't go overboard). Also, when pasta is added there may seem a little too much sauce, but it will thicken when baked.

d) Sauce - Make sure the sauce has thickened before you add the cheese, don't use the cheese to thicken the sauce or it will lose it's texture (namely the mozzarella) and it'll go grainy.

e) Chives - Try not to think of these as just garnish, they add gorgeous flavour to the dish. I use around a tbsp to sprinkle on top, but work to preference.
f) Calories - based on sharing between 6 people.