It’s getting deep into comfort food territory over here. We’ve had a ridiculously mild November this year, but it’s still grey and raining, and I doubt it’ll be long before it takes a turn for the worse. You know what I tried to make the other day? A kale salad.
Granted, it was a kale salad with farro and roasted carrots, almonds, and goat cheese, but it was still a kale salad. Every time I make one of those, I feel terrific about my life choices for all of, say, an hour or so — and then I’m hungry again. And I mean hungry with a vengeance. And although this harissa mac & cheese isn’t the sort of thing I’d be cooking up on a regular basis, I think that once in a while it’s important to indulge yourself, and cook some truly fantastic comfort food.
I’m totally that person who has to drench her traditional mac & cheese in ketchup or sriracha — I just find the cream sauces so bland! So I knew that I wanted this dish to have a tomato sauce base, with a little acidity and spice to set off the gooey cheese. I chose a red pepper sauce because I like that the pepper flavour further accentuates the rich, peppery smokiness of the harissa, and then I decided to throw some capers and chopped parsley in there for a little extra punch. The touch of cream helps bring all the flavours together, and there’s some terrific saltiness from the feta. And last, the lamb really takes this dish over the edge. How have I been eating sausage-less mac & cheese all my life before this? Lesson learned, friends, lesson learned.
The whole shebang comes together surprisingly quickly — while the pasta’s boiling, you cook the sauce, then toss it all together for a bake in the oven — and requires only a pot and a skillet! And those last few minutes while the cheese is browning and bubbling away produce what might seriously be the most heavenly scent on earth. Happy feasting, all.
This post was sponsored by Natrel as part of their Mac & Cheese Challenge: 52 weeks, 52 themes, 52 mac & cheese recipes. Share your own mac & cheese adventures, and tag them on Instagram using @Natrel and #NatrelMac for a chance to win monthly Le Creuset prizes. For more information, check out: http://experience.natrel.ca/en/macncheese.