by David Page and Barbara Shinn
from Recipes from Home
Serves 2 to 4
Every other Thursday night was bridge club. Mom and her friends would get together and enjoy a break from their nightly routines of feeding hungry mouths and monitoring homework. We weren’t too upset, however, because we knew that for dinner Dad would make macaroni and cheese, baked in a cast iron skillet with sliced tomatoes and breadcrumbs on top.
Then he’d take us out to the country in his car and drive really fast. Being an ex-stock-car driver, Dad missed racing. I guess macaroni-and-cheese night held a lot of memories for us all. — David Page
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon mild paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup grated Wisconsin Asiago cheese
3/4 cup grated Dry Jack cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they are softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns light brown, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Add the paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until they are melted. Add the macaroni and stir until the noodles are thoroughly coated. Remove from the heat.
3. Butter two 6-inch cast-iron skillets or one 12-inch skillet. Transfer the macaroni mixture into the skillets. Top with the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
4. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Garnish with the chopped herbs.
Recipe © 2001 David Page and Barbara Shinn. All rights reserved.