Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Roasted Garlic

Photo Credit
Becky Luigart-Stayner
The Editors
Makes 6 servings.
Tommy Aquaro, Bumpass, Virginia
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This Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Roasted Garlic recipe won third place in The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac Recipe Contest. This is one of the best macaroni and cheese recipes we’ve ever tasted! The orange color comes from the earthy goodness of sweet potatoes, not artificial colors! It’s filling, inexpensive, and great for both kids and adults.

10 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
12 ounces macaroni elbows
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups half-and-half
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese, divided
3⁄4 cup shredded Asiago cheese, divided
pinch of rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup Italian panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

Place peeled garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and wrap tightly. Roast for 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from foil, mash, and set aside.

Place sweet potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes, or until fork tender.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until caramelized. Remove from skillet and dice into cubes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add macaroni. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often. Drain, then set pasta aside.

In the same pot, melt butter over low heat. Add flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper and whisk in half-and-half. Increase heat to medium and allow mixture to boil. Turn off heat and add 1-3⁄4 cups Italian blend cheese and 1⁄2  cup Asiago cheese. Whisk until smooth, then add mashed garlic, sweet potatoes, rosemary, minced garlic, and pasta. Stir to combine, then pour into prepared baking dish.

In a bowl, combine bread crumbs with remaining cheeses and olive oil. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown.

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