Prep 25 mins
Cook 30 mins
My favorite macaroni and cheese but I love thyme!
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more
- butter, for dish
- 1 1⁄4 cups baguette, torn into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
- 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 3 1⁄2 cups milk
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 16 ounces tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Cook pasta until just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes (it will not be fully cooked).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drain and rinse macaroni.
- Butter a 9 X 13 inch pan or 3 quart casserole; set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter, and pour over bread in a medium bowl; add 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and toss.
- Heat milk in a sauce pan over medium heat until warm.
- Heat remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a high sided skillet or a pot over medium heat until foaming.
- Add flour, cook, whisking 1 minute.
- Whisk in warm milk a little at a time.
- Cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and thickened, 8-10 minutes.
- Remove milk mixture from heat.
- Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons thyme, nutmeg, and cheese to pan; stir until cheese is melted.
- Stir pasta and tomatoes into cheese sauce.
- Pour into buttered dish; sprinkle with bread topping.
- Bake until bubbly and golden, about 30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
This is so yummy, better then the version I grew up on, sorry Mom!!! Ours was just the cheddar cheese, tomatoes, salt and pepper with the pasta. I wasn't sure if I would like the crouton type of topping, as I don't care the breadcrumb topping (to me it dries it out), but I really loved the flavor and texture of the croutons. I took photo's but was glad to see there was already wonderful photo's from Lori Mama. I let my butter broown too much, so I didn't have that vibrant orange color in my sauce. Thanks for posting a great recipe. Made for 123 Tag Game.
Lovely recipe. I'm happy I was able to harvest some of my thyme bush for this. Made for Everyday Holiday Tag. :)