Veggie

Pear and Gorgonzola Mac and Cheese

When Wisconsin gorgonzola is paired with something sweet, such as pears, it takes on a luscious and slightly piquant flavor that works perfectly in a rich cream sauce. Top it off with crumbled honey wheat crackers for an added sweet crunch.

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Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shell pasta
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 pear, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup honey wheat crackers, finely crumbled

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook shells until al dente, rinse, set aside.

In small frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and add rosemary. Cook for about 4 minutes or until fragrant and leaves are tender. Add pears and raise heat to medium-high, sauté for a few minutes and add 1 teaspoon sugar. Let cook until pears are golden brown and slightly softened; about 10 minutes. Set mixture aside.

In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar, and cook until translucent and slightly caramelized. Add 1 tablespoon butter and when melted, add flour; whisking constantly to avoid lumps. When roux is light brown and bubbly, whisk in cream, stirring constantly until sauce starts to thicken. Add gorgonzola, a little at a time, and stir until melted. Add cooked pasta and pears and stir until evenly distributed. Salt and pepper to taste. (It should look a little soupy)

In buttered cast iron skillet, add pasta mixture and smooth over – so the surface is even. Add crumbled crackers over entire surface, and dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until top is crispy and golden, about 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

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If you are making a béchamel sauce (butter + flour + milk) for the macaroni, add the milk very slowly, whisking constantly, for the perfect consistency.