Oh yes I did! Oh yes I really did! There are two things this dish ain’t– light and cheap. No point in even trying to pretend – sure you could use a run of the mill cheddar or even Jack cheese if you like. But what’s the point – that will only give you a plain Mac and Cheese with some shrimp thrown in. You really want to experience that creamy, nutty, tangy, salty combo that the fontina, Gorgonzola and taleggio produces – coupled with the sweet meaty texture of fresh shrimp – well you’ve just kicked up Mac and Cheese to a new height!
If lobster is your thing and you can get it fresh, fresh, fresh – well then have at it. This is probably one of the best things I have ever made! P.S. the picture doesn’t do the dish justice – try it and let me know.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
1 lb fresh local shrimp – shelled, deveined and roughly chopped
2 large shallots – minced
2 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
1-teaspoon fresh thyme
Splash of sherry
Light olive oil
½ cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter
4 cups whole milk
16oz fontina cheese, cubed
8oz Taleggio cheese, cubed
8oz Gorgonzola cheese, cubed
¾ of a 1lb pound box of pasta – like fusilli or elbow
Panko breadcrumbs - optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook pasta according to directions – cutting cooking time by 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook onions, thyme and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until translucent and fragrant. Add shrimp, cook until just beginning to turn pink. Splash with sherry, turn up heat and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes until shrimp is almost cooked through. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly until smooth and begins to thicken. Continue cooking until sauce begins to bubble. Add cheese, stir until cheese melts. Add shrimp and pasta stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a large baking dish, sprinkle with panko, bake until bubbly and beginning to brown. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
It’s All Delicious notes: Make sure you get the freshest shrimp possible – they should smell sweet like the sea. You could make these into individual servings. Also, try and keep the pasta size the same as the shrimp – you don’t want a big piece of pasta to overpower the wonderful flavor of the shrimp and cheese trio!