I am a cheese lover… I guess this has been established and proven by the posts on this blog already. However, blue cheese is a relatively recent acquired taste for me. I always found it too salty and pungent for my taste. However, I few years ago I went to a really nice restaurant in Ponce, Mark’s at the Meliá, that featured a Boston lettuce salad with crumbled Maytag blue cheese and vinaigrette. I was a convert after that dish.
Now I do not shy away from blue cheeses anymore. I love it in desserts, in salads, and lately, in pastas. That’s how this Mac & Cheese came about. Kind of like a grown-up version of a mac and cheese.
I did this dish the first time improvising at my aunt’s house in Miami. She wanted macaroni with a white sauce. So I decided to give it a twist to make it interesting. She loved it and my cousin, whose daughter is a chef, loved it too. She had never tasted my cooking and she was nicely impressed.
I hope when you make this, you’ll also impress the ones you love and cook for.
BLUE CHEESE MAC WITH WALNUTS
1 tbs sofrito 1 tbs olive oil ½ cup milk 4 oz cream cheese 1 handful of grated Italian-blend cheeses 6 oz of blue cheese – your favorite blue cheese will do here ½ cup of walnuts, toasted ½ package of your favorite whole-grain tubular pasta – penne, macaroni or rigatoni will all do
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes, until almost cooked thru. Try not to cook them too long, so they do not break when you stir the sauce in.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil and sofrito. Cook for a few minutes and add the milk. Let it warm through, but be careful it does not boil.
- When the milk has heated up add the cheeses. I leave the blue cheese for the end. Stir a few times to make sure all the cheeses melt well. They melt faster and better if they’ve been out of the fridge for a few minutes. Not necessarily room temp, but not out of the fridge either.
- When the pasta is done, drain it and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to combine. Add the walnuts.