Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Macaroni and cheese
You would never guess that the complexity and more adult flavors of this macaroni
and cheese did not come out of the oven

8 ounces cavatappi, macaroni, or other tube shaped pasta
1/2 teaspoon House salt + 1/4 cup for cooking pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups dry white wine, like Sauvignon blanc
2/3 cup heavy cream
8 ounces grated Gruyere
4 ounces grated aged gouda
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, then more to taste
1 whole nutmeg

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Slowly add 1/4 cup salt followed by the pasta.
Cook until the pasta is al dente, 9 to 11 minutes

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
Add shallots and cook until light golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle shallot-butter
mixture with flour; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add wine and stir, picking up any
browned bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the cream. Sprinkle in
cheeses, one large handful at a time, stirring until each handful is mostly melted
before adding the next. Stir in chives, Dijon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cayenne, and 1 nutmeg
grated on a rasp 6 to 8 times.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Do not rinse the pasta

Add the hot pasta to the cheese sauce and stir until thoroughly combined. If desired,
add a bit of the cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to thin the sauce to the desired

Serve Macaroni and cheese hot. Leftovers, if there are any, keep, covered and
refrigerated up to 3 days