4 cups dry pasta shells- small or medium size
1 T olive oil
1 stick butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, minced
4 T flour
3 cups half and half
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz gorgonzola cheese, shredded
8 oz fontina cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 cup cooked lobster tails, cut into pieces
1/2 cup panko crumbs
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta shells. Cook according to package directions, keeping them on the al dente side. Remove and drain. Place shells into a bowl and toss with olive oil.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and add garlic and onions. Cook about five minutes on medium heat until translucent. Turn heat to low and sprinkle in flour to create a roux. Whisk vigorously. Cook for another minute or two and slowly add half and half while stirring. Next, add your cheeses. Reserve half of the cheddar cheese for topping.
Add your cheese sauce to the bowl of macaroni shells and stir gently. Add spices and then stir in lobster tails. Put pasta into a greased 9x9 pan. You may have some extra for another pan depending on the size of your shells (yay leftovers!). Top macaroni with remaining cheddar and sprinkle with panko and some additional nutmeg. Cook in oven for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and topping is golden.
- I like to serve my mac and cheese with a heaping side of steamed spinach and broccoli.
- I purchased my lobster tails from Trader Joe's in the frozen section. They come cooked, cut and ready to go for this recipe. Just defrost and rinse.
- Try substituting with your favorite cheeses. A lot of people shy away from blue cheese varieties, but it really adds an interesting layer of flavor.
- This recipe is very rich and could easily serve 6 people if accompanied with enough vegetables and a salad.
- Pairs nicely with a Pinot Noir. We actually started with Tolosa Pinot Gris and finished with Pinot Noir.
- Check back later for Stovetop Macaroni with Roasted Tomatoes, a much healthier version that I make adapted from Cooking Light :D