Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...
Why would anyone change traditional macaroni and cheese; it's perfect, right? We won't argue there, but it's also the perfect base to sneak in a little sophistication when the occasion calls.
Dry white wine and creamy goat cheese add freshness and tang to traditional macaroni and cheese, while just-picked basil and cherry tomatoes (hydroponically grown in the winter) bring a sweet balance.
Macaroni and cheese with goat cheese and white wine recipe
1 pound elbow or ziti macaroni
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups of chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
7 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
10 cherry tomatoes, diced
Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the macaroni. When the water boils, add the macaroni and cook for seven minutes, or per package directions.
As the water is coming to a boil, add the olive oil to a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic. Add the butter, adjusting the heat to prevent the butter from burning. When butter is melted, add the flour and stir – this will create a paste (a roux) that will thicken the cheese sauce. Cook the paste for about one minute, stirring to prevent it from turning brown or burning.
Add the wine and stir – this will loosen and thin the roux. Slowly add chicken stock a little at a time, stirring to incorporate thinning the roux and turning it into a sauce. The consistency of the sauce should be like a thick gravy.
Add the goat cheese and stir until melted. Add the Gruyere and Parmesan and stir until melted.
Add the cream and nutmeg. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. If the cheese sauce is too thick, thin out with more wine or chicken stock.
Drain the macaroni well, and add to the cheese sauce, stirring to coat the macaroni. Add the tomatoes and basil; stir to incorporate. Serve immediately.