I can't think of any food that is such a universal comfort food like macaroni and cheese. While the classic is always welcome, it's a great canvas to explore different flavors and try a world of cheeses. This Pear and Roquefort Macaroni and Cheese is an elevated twist on the classic.
Cheese is one of those ingredients that can instantly transport us to somewhere else. Gorgonzola gives us a taste of Italy. Manchego brings a Spanish flair while Halloumi makes me want to say opa with its Greek flavors.
A Taste of France
This Pear and Roquefort Macaroni and Cheese is France in a bite. Tangy, creamy, Roquefort is paired with the sweet caramelized crisp flavor of pears.
This dish reminds me of Paris every time I make it. My husband and I live for five years in Paris shortly after school. We got engaged in Paris, were married there, and our daughter was born there. Our love for France and her traditions, culture, and food runs deep, including cheese.
Being connoisseur's French cheese, we have our favorites and Roquefort is one of them. Roquefort is a raw sheep's milk cheese. It's aged in the natural caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, giving it its namesake. It's just as at home on your charcuterie board paired with pears and walnuts as it is in this decadent macaroni and cheese.
This recipe is perfect for a special night in while also being a great way to introduce younger kids to more complex flavors. It's all of the familiarity of macaroni and cheese, creamy, comforting, smooth, with a crunchy topping, but in an updated version.
My family adores cheese. We love trying different kinds of cheese. I Love Imported Cheese is a great resource for not only learning more about cheese, but also discovering new imported cheeses you might not be familiar with. They're also a fabulous resource for finding recipes to use your favorite cheeses.
Luxurious Pear and Roquefort Macaroni and Cheese
While the name may sound fancy, and the dish pairs well with your favorite French wine. This couldn't be easier to make. It's starts with the base of all great mac and cheese dishes, a roux and finishes by being baked in the oven.
- Boil your pasta according to the package directions. You want to cook it to al dente since it will continue to cook in the oven.
- Heat your pan over medium heat and melt ¼ stick of butter. Add your pears and thyme. You want to make sure your cubes are approximately the same size so they caramelize evenly. Once they begin to develop that golden brown color remove them from the pan.
- Add your remaining butter and allow it to melt. Add your flour and continue to whisk until it absorbs all of the butter and begins to smell a little nutty, 2-3 minutes. You're not looking to develop any color on the flour, just cook out the raw flavor.
- Slowly pour in your milk, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to whisk on low heat until the sauce thickens.
- Add your Roquefort cheese into the pan along with salt, pepper, and the pears. Stir to combine. Mix in your pasta and divide the macaroni and cheese between two ramekins. Top with crushed walnuts and more thyme and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Are you looking for more cheese inspiration? Make sure to check out my recipe for Decadent Grape and Cheese Pizza.
Pear and Roquefort Macaroni and Cheese
- stock pot
- large sauté pan
- 2 ramekins
- 2 cups cavatappi pasta
- ¾ stick butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 pear, diced
- 6-8 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp walnuts, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Allow the pears to begin to caramelize and turn golden. Remove the pears from the pan and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the flour. Continue to whisk until the flour absorbs all the butter. Cook 2-3 minutes until the flour begins to smell slightly nutty.
- Slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps. Continue to stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Add in your crumbled Roquefort cheese, caramelized pears, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and stir to combine.
- Divide the macaroni and cheese between two ramekins.
- Top the macaroni and cheese with the crushed walnuts and extra thyme.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Bon appetite!