What did you say? Macaroni and Cheese in the French Onion Soup?? Really? Well, let me tell you folks, whoever invented this recipe is brilliant! Two yummy classics in the same pot make this the most uber of comfort foods. And, two of my favourite cuisines are in the same bowl. After travelling to France and Italy this summer, I have found myself frequently cooking French and Italian meals; so when I saw this recipe in the Vancouver Sun, I knew that I must try it, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. It is a quick and super versatile recipe. If you don’t want it too rich, leave out the mascarpone. Want it more creamy? Add some good chunks of butter and more cheese. Swap out the macaroni for one of your other favourite pastas. I made mine with orecchiette. I love this one because each piece of pasta acts as a little bowl for the sauce and the cheese. You never get a boring bite of pasta. Serve this dish with a crisp Chablis and some chewy baguette, and you will be transported to the French countryside… or, the Italian countryside… , you choose!
I will be bringing my dish over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week. I hope the gang will enjoy it! I also have the honour of co-hosting this week with Ginger, of Ginger and Bread. Please come and join us. If you have never visited or posted, here are a few guidelines. See you there!
French Onion Macaroni and Cheese
1 tablespoon butter or more to taste
3 medium onions, thinly sliced, about 3 cups
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth
¾ cups water
¼ cup dry sherry
2 cups macaroni pasta
2 cups grated gruyere cheese, divided
¾ cups mascarpone
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Position oven rack in top third of oven.
Melt butter in a medium oven-safe frying pan, over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves. Stir occasionally, until the onions are golden brown. Pour in broth, water and sherry. Stir in the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender.
Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup gruyere, mascarpone and Dijon until combined. Stir remaining 1 cup gruyere with the panko crumbs and sprinkle over the pasta.
Broil until the topping is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining thyme over the topping.
Serve with a crunchy bread.