Autumn Mac and Cheese

(printable recipe) - serves 4.

Ingredients:

8 Oz. Orecchiette Pasta.
1 1/2 C Sharp & Aged Cheddar Cheese (the older the better!), grated.
1 C Fontina, grated.
1 Onion, peeled & diced.
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
1 Apple, cored and diced.
2 Links of (Smoked) Chorizo, chopped.
1 Lemon for Juice & Zest.
Loaf of Day Old Bread, cut into 2" pieces.
2 C Milk or Cream.
1 Tbsp Flour.
1 Tsp Ground Mustard.
2 Tbsp Butter.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Coarse Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.


What to Do:

Make the breadcrumbs. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F. As it heats, throw the bread into your food processor and pulse until you have coarse bread crumbs. Pour onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the juice of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for up to an hour, drying the crumbs out until crunchy and lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for 7-10 minutes or until al dente, stirring frequently. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat a glug or two of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion. Stir well. Allow to soften and then add the chorizo. Cook through. Toss in the garlic, give it a good stir and let cook until fragrant. Chuck in the apples. Soften but don't mush, stirring frequently.

Pour the contents of the pot into a bowl and return the pot to the stove, turning the heat down to medium-low. Add the butter. Once sizzling, throw in the flour and stir until the flour slightly changes in color and smells nutty - a minute or so. Gently whisk in the milk, ground mustard and a good helping of pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and allow to thicken, stirring constantly.

Once it thickens, throw in the cheese and melt through. Add the cooked pasta to the pot and the chorizo mixture. Mix well.

Spoon into big fat bowls, topping with the lemony breadcrumbs.

Eat.
 
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