This comforting macaroni and cheese recipe incorporates mushrooms, white wine, thyme and hominy for an indulgent, updated dinner staple.
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3/4 pound elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can hominy
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon flour
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander over the sink and rinse with cold water and set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium to high heat, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once the oil is shimmering and the butter begins to bubble, add the minced shallots and garlic. Just before the garlic and shallots begin to color, about 2 minutes, toss in the sliced mushrooms and season with a generous amount of kosher salt. Give the pan a good toss once or twice to evenly coat the mushrooms in the oil, cook on high for about 4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and immediately pour in the white wine to pick up all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, hominy, and a tablespoon of butter to the pan, continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°. In the saucepot used to cook the pasta, pour in the milk and warm over medium heat, being careful to not boil. Meanwhile, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan and whisk in the flour to form a light blonde roux. Slowly add the warm milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook over low heat whisking constantly for about 4 minutes until the béchamel thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Transfer the béchamel into the large pot used to warm the milk.
Add the macaroni, mushroom and hominy mixture, cheddar cheese and half of the Pecorino to the béchamel, and gently fold to combine. Spread in an even layer into an oven safe baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Pecorino.
Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese melts and the top layer becomes golden brown.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, and serve immediately.
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