Macaroni and cheese is a traditional favorite, that’s for sure. This version dresses up the old time dish with shrimp, the savory taste of rosemary, and Meyer lemon zest. The result is sure to be a hit for weekday or weekends alike, along with leftovers for school or brown bag lunches.
8 ounces whole wheat macaroni
A splash of olive oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 3/4 cups whole milk
zest of 2 medium Meyer lemons
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
several grinds black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for buttering a casserole dish
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit & butter a 2-quart casserole.
- Cook the pasta, adding a splash of olive oil to the boiling water as you add the macaroni.
- Cook at a simmer for about 4 minutes, or until a little firmer than al dente. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Toss with another splash of olive oil in a bowl, and add the shrimp, which will begin to cook in the hot pasta. Set aside.
- Add the milk and Meyer lemon zest to a saucepan and heat over a low setting until just barely simmering.
- While the milk heats, add the butter to a large saucepan and melt over a medium-high heat.
- Add the flour to the melted butter, stirring for a minute or two.
- Pour the hot lemon/milk mixture slowly into the melted butter and flour (or “roue”) whisking as you do. The mixture should thicken as you stir.
- Stir in the minced rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook for about a minute.
- Add the cheese a handful at a time, reserving about a quarter cup of each type of cheese. Continue to stir as you add, until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is very smooth in texture.
- Add the macaroni and shrimp to the cheese sauce and combine thoroughly.
- Add the macaroni mixture to the casserole dish.
- Top with the remaining cheese you’ve held back.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.