Mac & Cheese: Petit Basque with Roasted Garlic, Shallots and Gemelli

Petit Basque with Roasted Garlic, Shallots and Gemelli from Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese

2 whole heads garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup diced shallots (1 whole bulb)
8 ounces Gemelli pasta
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 table spoons flour
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 ounces Petit Basque cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel off most of the outer paper holding the garlic together. Trim off the top 1/4 inch of the garlic with a sharp knife. Place the garlic in a small ramekin or other garlic-sized, ovenproof bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cover the ramekin loosely with foil and roast for 1 hour or until garlic is soft. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze it out of its skin and mash it up with a fork.

In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 table spoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until they brown, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain through thru a colander and set aside.

To prepare the Mornay sauce, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the milk starts to steam and tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium flame. Add the flour and stir with a flat-edge wooden paddle just until the roux begins to take on a light-brown color, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk and stir constantly until the sauce thickens enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon--a finger drawn along the back of the spoon should leave a clear swath. Add the mashed garlic cloves to the sauce, followed by the shallots and their cooking oil. Stir well.

Remove the sauce from heat and stir in salt and pepper. Add cheese to sauce, stirring until completely melted. Add pasta, folding until all noodles are covered with sauce. Stir in chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.
 

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