This is incredibly rich and cheesy. People can pick up their little gratins, sprinkle on the topping of their choice and savour the flavour combinations. Some of my family's favourite toppings include crumbled bacon, sautéed garlic breadcrumbs, chopped lobster meat, extra cheese, salsa and chopped Italian sausage. Basically, add whatever your imagination allows! I like small tubetti pasta, but any shape will work.
- 1 pound (500 grams) macaroni noodles
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 8 ounces (250 grams) cheddar or fontina cheese, grated (about 2 ½ cups)
- 4 ounces (125 grams) soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 ounces (125 grams) brie or gorgonzola, rind removed, cut in cubes or crumbled
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Oil 24 small gratin dishes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente.
While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes (flour should not colour). Pour in milk and whisk until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Return pot to low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cooked macaroni and pack into prepared gratin dishes.
Bake for 20 minutes or until set and slightly golden on the sides. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with toppings. Serves 12