Black garlic adds an amazing complexity to this cheese sauce. Black garlic isn’t fermented, but made by slowly heating the garlic over several weeks. This heating process breaks down the garlic’s sugars, changing its flavor profile and turns it black. Essentially once the process is completely, a caramelized garlic bulb is created.
The flavor has subtle hints of garlic along with notes of balsamic vinegar and tamarind – it’s a truly unique food, that must be tried!
Cooking the onions with the roux (flour & butter mixture) allows the flavor of the onions to infuse the sauce. Strain out the onions and peppercorns and discard.
Look for packages of black garlic in the produce section, near the fresh garlic. In my store I found them in basket on top of the produce bins. This is definitely a product that all stores may not carry, however most stores I’ve checked now do have it due to its increasing popularity – the trick is to find where they are hiding it!
To use, squeeze out the cloves you need, and mash them well with a fork. Try adding just one clove and do a taste test – just so you know what to expect. Add another mashed up clove for even more flavor. Once sauce has thickened, stir in cooked pasta and spoon into a greased baking dish.
Moistened the fresh bread crumbs (don’t use dried bread crumbs – too gritty) with just enough melted butter until all are lightly coated. Add remaining ingredients then sprinkle over pasta and bake.
Three Cheese Pasta with Black Garlic
- 1 lb GF elbow macaroni shells or rigatoni
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine
- 3 Tbsp gluten free flour blend
- ½ small onion
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 6 peppercorns
- 2 cups milk
- Pinch nutmeg
- ½-1 tsp salt
- 3 cups grated cheese cheddar, white cheddar, Havarti or Gouda
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 2 cloves black garlic mashed
- 1 cup fresh GF breadcrumbs lightly toasted
- 2-3 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese finely grated
- Salt and pepper
- Boil the pasta in salted water until almost done, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse, spread out onto a clean dish towel and set aside.
- In a sauce pan, melt butter over med-low heat then stir in flour, onion, bay leaf, type and peppercorns. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the milk, increase heat to medium, and whisk until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Strain mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining sauce ingredients (discard onion mixture in sieve). Stir until cheese is mostly melted.
- Gently stir in the cooked pasta, until completely coated then place in a greased quart-size baking dish (or several small ones for individual portions).
- For topping, lightly toast crumbs by spreading out onto a baking sheet, and broil for 2-5 minutes until just start to turn golden. Combine crumbs with just enough of the melted butter until are slightly moistened. Add remaining ingredients, then sprinkle over pasta. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes.