|Macaroni with Ham and Blue Cheese
11 TBS unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt, to taste
12 oz. rigatoni
2 slices crustless white bread
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz. grated sharp cheddar
8 oz. roughly chopped cooked ham
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1/8 freshly ground nutmeg
Grease a 2-qt. baking pan with 1 TBS butter; set aside. Bring a 6-qt.pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain pasta, rinse; set aside. Pulse bread into crumbs in food processor; mix with 4 TBS butter; set aside.
Heat oven to 400. Melt remaining butter in a 6-qt. pot over medium heat. Add thyme and onions; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Whisk in flour; cook 2–3 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, whisking, until thick, 10–12 minutes. Whisk in salt, cheddar, ham, blue cheese, parsley, hot sauce, scallions, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in pasta; add to pan; sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbly, 30–40 minutes.
SERVES 8 – 10 - Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua, New York.
Saveur Issue #125