This Vermont Cheddar Shells and Cheese is rich, creamy and bursting with unexpected flavor.
I decided to change things up a bit with this macaroni and cheese recipe so I chose to use a mixture of Vermont Cheddar and American White cheeses to give it a rich, creamy texture.
I also substituted pasta shells for macaroni because Dustin and I both prefer them.
Finally, I decided to saute finely chopped onion with the roux to give it some flavor.
Vermont Cheddar Shells and Cheese
12 oz. uncooked pasta shells
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz. Vermont cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz. American white cheese, crumbled
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
Boil pasta shells in a large pot of heavily salted water according to the directions on the box. Remove shells from heat and drain once al dente (just tender). Try not to overcook the shells because this will make them too mushy later.
Melt butter in a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until onion becomes translucent, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes, or until thickened (this is what’s called creating a “roux”). Add milk and heavy cream slowly into the roux, whisking constantly. Stir together until creamy and heated through. Add cheeses in small handfuls, taking care to stir until all the cheese is melted before adding more. Heat through. The sauce will look quite liquidy. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Add the pasta shells and stir well to coat. Heat through, stirring frequently. Serve while hot.
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