Wow. Now this roasted garlic and thyme mac-and-cheese is the way to do mac-and-cheese. I’ve had some really good, really cheesy mac-and-cheese, but this version from Des at Life’s Ambrosia is beyond good. Besides the wonderful flavors of roasted garlic and thyme, this take on the classic also includes an egg, which really makes for a thick, extra-creamy texture.
Make sure to use a decent sized head of garlic if you really want to get the flavors. I prefer to roast mine on the grill for a little added smoky flavor. I may try this with fresh rosemary just to see how it would come out. Oh, and don’t be afraid to add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes for a little heat.
Roasted Garlic and Thyme Mac-and-Cheese
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups elbow macaroni cooked per package instructions, drained
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk do not substitute!
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 cups sharp cheddar shredded
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded (or Monterey Jack)
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme plus a teaspoon, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 pinches dried red pepper flake if desired
- kosher salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 F (or fire up your grill for indirect cooking).
- Cut off about 1/4″ of the top of the garlic head and place on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil. Seal and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the garlic is tender and aromatic. Remove, open the foil, and let cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic from the cloves and mince.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over high heat, but do not burn it.
- Add in the flour and whisk for one minute. Reduce heat to medium.
- Slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Simmer, but do not boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
- Take a few tablespoons of the milk mixture and add to the egg. Beat gently with a fork. This will raise the temperature of the egg so that it does not curdle when you add it to the pot. Now, slowly add the egg to the pot.
- Add in the cheese and stir until melted.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the thyme, the red and black pepper, pasta and garlic, and season with salt. Remove from heat and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve garnished with remaining thyme.
- Note: If the pasta gets too thick, specially when reheating, just add a little bit of milk and stir.
Nutritional values are approximate.